Woman having teeth examined at dentists

Your dental health starts with you. If you want to keep your teeth sparkling white and avoid issues such as decay, chipping, and gum disease, you have a key role to play.

That’s because most dental problems are caused by the simple things we do or don’t do. Tooth decay, for instance, occurs when food containing carbohydrates such as sugar-filled candies and cereals are left on the teeth. Bacteria that live in the mouth digest the foods, producing acids in the process. This acid, bacteria, and food debris then combine to form plaque which eats away tooth enamel causing cavities.

This is just a simple example of what can go wrong in our mouths. Fortunately, there are steps you can step to avert such problems.

Brush Your Teeth Regularly

Different experts recommend different brushing frequencies. Ideally, though, you want to brush at least twice a day – in the morning and again at night. Brushing helps to remove plaque build-up and bacteria. You also benefit from a fresh breath round the clock. Two other things to keep in mind are how to brush and what type of toothbrush to use. Your dentist should provide professional advice on both issues. Remember to change your toothbrush as soon as the bristles begin to fray or wear down.

Floss At Least Once a Day

Unfortunately, brushing alone cannot rid the teeth of food particles and plaque. For hard to reach areas between teeth, you need what’s known as flossing. Flossing refers to the process of using a string of dental floss to clean and remove any particles from in between the teeth and areas below the gum. You take a small length of the dental floss, wrap it tightly around your middle fingers, and guide it between your teeth, right to the gum line. The best time to floss is at night just before you go to bed.

Consider Sealants for Additional Protection

Unsurprisingly, brushing plus flossing might not provide bulletproof protection from tooth decay either. Most people have dental grooves (known as fissures) and groove intersections (known as pits) that are extremely difficult to clean. According to the National Institute of Health, these fissures and pits account for 88% of total dental cavities; even the perfect toothbrush or dental floss cannot reach deep pits. That’s where sealants come in handy. Designed from a tough resin material, sealants sit on top of the fissures and pits to prevent acid and bacteria penetration, effectively preventing decay.

Eat a Healthy Diet

Finally, the foods we eat also have a huge impact on our dental health. Sugary foods such as candy, desserts, and pastries directly contribute to tooth decay. Dried fruits, honey and sugared beverages such as beer, soda, and fruit juices are others that can quickly cause tooth decay. It’s advisable to avoid these foods. Other foods, meanwhile, have been shown to improve dental health. These include cheese and other dairy products. The proteins found in these foods appear to bind to the outer tooth thus preventing bacteria from reaching to the tooth. You should, therefore, include more of these foods in your diet.

Remember to See a Dentist Every Six Months

Six months is just the industry standard though. Feel free to see your dentist at every opportunity, especially if you have an established dental problem. You will learn many other ways to take care of your teeth as well as get the checkups needed to catch any new issues early. Contact Oso Marguerite Dental for any queries.

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