dental careIt is often said that a winning smile is an important tool when meeting people. The appearance of your teeth can definitely have a positive or negative effect when coming in contact with people for the first time. This is only one of the reasons why your dental health care is crucial to maintain your pearly whites.

The overall daily care of your teeth is as important as taking a shower every day. Our mouths are breeding grounds for germs and it is essential to take proper care of our teeth if you want them to last a lifetime. Visiting the dentist a few times a year is just part of the process of maintaining healthy teeth. Most of the work is up to us and it really is not that difficult to practice good oral hygiene.

The main function of teeth is to chew food.
They are not meant to crush ice, crack nuts, open bottle tops or loosen tough knots. Most dentists will tell you to discard your toothbrush and replace it with a new one every three months. Choose a softer bristle rather than a hard bristle when picking out your toothbrush as it will be much gentler on your teeth. It is important to brush your teeth with the bristles at a 45 degree angle to each tooth. There is such a thing as over brushing your teeth. Worn away or damaged enamel cannot be restored. Look for toothpaste or even rinses that contain fluoride as this ingredient strengthens enamel and can help prevent cavities.

Let’s talk a little bit about the foods we eat.
We are always told that sugar is the enemy of our teeth. Actually it is the amount of time that sugar can spend on our teeth that is the problem. The bacteria in our mouth will feed on the sugar and that will cause an acid strong enough to start eating through the enamel. Brushing after consuming foods high in sugar content resolves the problem of consuming too much sugar. Chewing gum is also a good thing since it activates saliva which washes the sugar off the teeth. Swishing water after eating sugar laden foods is a great practice to incorporate in your teeth care ritual. By the way, diet sodas may be a bigger threat to your teeth than regular sodas as they contain more acidic phosphates that can harm tooth enamel.

Now let’s discuss the impact of flossing.
This practice is extremely important in teeth health care. Your dentist will want you to floss each and every day. Flossing or cleaning in between teeth is a healthy step in daily dental care. Not only does it toughen up the gums but it removes the sticky plaque that settles in the nooks and crannies that a toothbrush has a hard time reaching. Flossing also removes hard to get food particles that sometimes get stuck between the gums and teeth such as popcorn or foods with tiny seeds.

Seeing a dentist for regular checkups will help to detect early signs of gum disease or even oral cancer. With good oral hygiene, almost all gum disease or tooth decay can be prevented. It just takes a matter of minutes each day to insure a lifetime of healthy teeth.

About the Contributor:  Nancy Lu is a health enthusiast and blogger who writes for Smithson Smiles dental practice.