We’ve all heard about smiles lighting up a room, and while It might sound like a cliché, a smile really can transform your face and put a sparkle in your eyes. In some cases, it also seems to give you that boost of confidence that you sometimes need.
However, issues like bad breath, stained teeth and just overall negative oral health might make you cringe in embarrassment instead of open your mouth to offer a dazzling smile. Getting into the habit of taking care of your teeth will go a long way in not only keeping your smile bright, but in keeping your gums healthy too.
Good gum health is essential for overall oral health. If you think about it, your gums are the anchor or foundation for your teeth and should therefore be well taken care of. If they aren’t, you could find yourself in the unenviable position of experiencing gum disease such as periodontitis or gingivitis. The latter, while offering milder symptoms such as bleeding and swollen gums, can be effectively treated.
If untreated however, gingivitis could develop into periodontitis, of which there are many forms. However, this disease may lead to loss of teeth. It can still be treated though, but treatment duration is dependent on the severity of the disease itself.
Now, there are measures that can be taken to ensure that you practise safe and effective oral hygiene to keep your mouth as healthy as possible. Let’s take a look at some of these tips for healthy teeth and gums that you can follow:
Visit your dentist
If you haven’t been to the dentist in years, or maybe not even at all, you may feel a bit apprehensive about booking your appointment. However, it is essential that you understand the state of your teeth and gums. Based on your case, your dentist might prescribe additional measures to those listed below, or even start you on treatment if they determine that it is required.
Thereafter, make a habit of visiting your dentist on a regular basis, at least every six months. Not only will you be able to have your teeth professionally cleaned, but your dentist will be able to assess and advise on your oral health care requirements.
The importance of brushing
This is one of the simplest ways to help ensure that your teeth and gums are healthy. Make sure that you are using a suitable toothbrush and that you are brushing properly. It’s not enough to put some fluoride toothpaste on your brush. You need to make sure that you are holding your toothbrush at a 45-degree angle and that you use small but firm brush strokes. Brush your whole mouth, including your tongue.
Brush your mouth at least twice a day, or after every meal. However, it is not advised to do this immediately after you eat as the enamel on your teeth could be eroded by the high acidity levels of your food or drink. Brushing straight after, even with a soft-bristle brush could damage this enamel, and essentially your teeth, even further. Wait about 30 minutes before you brush. In addition, make sure that you get a new toothbrush every three to four months.
You could also invest in an electric toothbrush. It does most of the hard work for you and can even reach places that a manual toothbrush cannot. Also, because it’s doing the work, you’ll most likely brush for longer as well.
Don’t forget to floss
Even though brushing is essential, your toothbrush cannot get to all of those hard-to-reach places. That’s where floss comes in. Flossing should follow brushing to ensure that all food particles are effectively removed.
Invest in a good mouthwash
Just like with flossing, mouthwash will get rid of all of those small particles of food that can cause gum irritation. Mouthwash also combats plaque build-up and bad breath.
Calcium is essential
Because your teeth are made of calcium, having a sufficient amount of this mineral in your body will strengthen both your teeth and your gums. In addition to supplements, calcium can be found in dairy products and even nuts.
Nature’s own mouthwash
Water has a range of benefits for the whole body, and it is also essential in promoting good oral health. Water gently washes away particles and any residual acids and sugar left in your mouth from food and drink.
The sweet look of tooth decay
Whether it’s your favourite soft drink or a Violet Crumble, too much sugar is not good for your teeth. Excessive amounts can lead to the erosion of your teeth’s enamel, which could subsequently result in tooth decay.
It’s never too late to start looking after your teeth and gums. By following these tips and any recommendations by your dentist, you’ll be able to smile with confidence once again!