Quick, think about the most prevalent health problems in the country! Perhaps the common cold comes to mind. But 26% of adults have untreated tooth decay and nearly half of all adults older than 30 have gum disease.
Few people have a truly healthy smile. But you can have one in less time than you think. The key is to learn a few healthy smile tips so you know how to improve your dental health.
How should you brush your teeth and adopt a good diet for your dental health? What are preventative measures you can take to protect your teeth? Who is at the most risk for dental problems?
Answer these questions and you can promote your dental health without breaking a sweat. Here are six essential dental health tips.
1. Brush Your Teeth Effectively
Brushing your teeth can remove harmful bacteria and stimulate your gums so they support your teeth. Many people say they brush their teeth, but they do not do so correctly.
You should brush your teeth twice a day, two minutes at a time, for a total of four minutes. One session should occur in the morning and one in the evening. You can brush your teeth again if you notice something stuck on top of your teeth.
Hold the brush in one hand with the bristles at a 45-degree angle to your teeth. Move the brush in circles instead of scrubbing up and down, as aggressive scrubbing can damage your gums. After you’re done brushing your teeth, floss to remove bacteria and debris caught between your teeth.
2. Eat a Good Diet
Calcium and vitamin D are two essential nutrients that support your teeth. Even if you think you consume large amounts of both, you should increase your servings.
The most popular calcium-rich foods are dairy products. If you don’t want to consume animal products, you can have fortified almond milk or yogurt. You can also eat winter squash, almond, and soybeans.
Most seafood is rich in vitamin D. Some cereals and oatmeal are fortified with vitamin D, though these products can be rare.
3. Make Appointments With Your Dentist
Following good dental health tips can help create a healthy smile. However, the only way to ensure that you will have a healthy smile is to visit your dentist.
Google “dental office near me” to find a dentist’s office near you. Look at your insurance plan and see that the office closest to you falls under your coverage.
Try to see your dentist once every six months. Your appointment should consist of a cleaning and a check-up to make sure you do not have any health problems.
Keep your dentist’s number in case you experience problems with your smile or dental health. You should call your dentist immediately if you ever experience an emergency like a missing tooth.
4. Avoid Harmful Habits
Many habits can damage your teeth. Never chew on pencils or bite your nails while you are stressed out. Bits of pencils or nails can get stuck in your teeth, cut your gums, and strain your jaws.
Do not grind your teeth when you are sleeping or stressed. Grinding your teeth can make your teeth smaller and rip your teeth out of your gums.
You can wear a nightguard to keep your teeth in place. Try to go to sleep at the same time every night and do something calming so you are not inclined to grind your teeth while you lie down.
Nicotine can damage your gums, stain your teeth, and hurt your production of saliva. If you smoke cigarettes or chew tobacco, you should quit immediately. Talk to your doctor about how you can transition away from tobacco.
5. Protect Your Mouth From Collisions
Collisions can knock your teeth out, cut your gums, and bruise your lips. You should always wear a mouthguard while you are playing contact sports.
Never engage in a head-to-head collision. If you are expecting to collide with someone, try to move your head away from them and extend your arms out to brace yourself. Close your mouth, as your lips can protect your teeth from a direct hit.
Carry your tongue behind your teeth so you don’t bite on your tongue. When you are running, use hand signals to communicate with other people so you don’t move your tongue close to your teeth.
6. Understand Risk Factors
Tips for dental health work for all people. But some people need additional dental tips due to genetic and environmental factors.
If your parents or grandparents had dental problems, you are at a higher risk for developing issues. Take a look at your family history and see what issues your family has had.
If you share silverware or dishes with other people, you can pass the bacteria in your mouth to them, or vice versa. You should be very careful and you should clean all of the things you use to eat with. Do not share spoons with infants, as they do not have a strong immune system to handle the bacteria in your mouth.
You are at higher risk for dental issues if you have conditions like diabetes. Very high blood sugar levels can damage your gums and cause inflammation. You need to get personalized smile tips from your dentist that help you confront your risk factors.
Develop a Healthy Smile
You can have a healthy smile if you follow a few simple tips. Brush your teeth for at least four minutes every day and eat a diet with calcium and vitamin D. Have at least two meetings with your dentist every year.
Never put things in your mouth, grind your teeth, or collide with other people. Lock your teeth in place using a guard, even when you sleep. Monitor your risk for dental problems and avoid exposure to bacteria.
New dental health tips come to public attention every day. Read the latest dental health guides by following our coverage.