Brushing your teeth regularly is the most well-known way to take care of your teeth. The American Dental Association (ADA) recommends that individuals brush their teeth for two full minutes, twice a day, while holding the toothbrush at a 45-degree angle.
While brushing is undeniably essential, it’s not the only way to keep your pearly whites in good condition. Dr. Mehrnoosh Darj and her dedicated team at Dr. Darj Dental have created this guide to help you maximize your oral care routine. Take your oral care to the next level with these easy tips.
1. Avoid hidden sugar
You already know that sugar contributes to an increased risk of cavities. Sugar attracts cavity-causing bacteria, which produces an acid that destroys your tooth’s enamel. Sugar is found in candy, sweets, and pastries, but sugar can be found in many surprising places.
Sodas, coffee beverages, and fruit juice all contain high levels of sugar. If you like juice, consider drinking only a small portion, diluting it with water, or rinsing your mouth after drinking it.
2. Use toothpastes with fluoride
Brushing your teeth is a key component of your oral care routine, but to make the most out of your brushing session, you need the right tools: a soft-bristled brush and toothpaste with fluoride.
Fluoride is important because it helps strengthen your enamel and reduce your risk of cavities. Not sure if you’re using the right toothpaste? Ask us for a recommendation, or look for a tube of toothpaste that has the ADA seal of approval.
3. Prioritize flossing
Flossing isn’t the most fun oral care habit, but it’s essential for healthy teeth and gums. Flossing removes plaque, bacteria, and debris from between your teeth — an area that your toothbrush can’t do alone. If you avoid flossing because it makes your gums bleed or because it’s tricky, there are many types of floss, including pre-threaded flossers and water flossers.
4. Drink plenty of water
Did you know that drinking water can help freshen your breath and improve your overall oral health? Drinking water flushes away bacteria (which cause odor and decay). It also helps:
- Prevent dry mouth
- Strengthen your teeth (salvia contains natural minerals like calcium)
- Rinse away food particles
Drinking water also quenches your thirst better than sugary drinks.
5. Eat a healthy diet
What you eat also affects the health of your teeth. We already mentioned that sugary foods negatively impact your oral health, but the opposite is also true: Healthy foods in a well-balanced diet support your oral health. For example, eating cheese after a meal can help reduce the risk of tooth decay.
6. Address dental problems as soon as you notice them
This is one of the best tips when it comes to keeping your teeth healthy. It’s always easier to fix a small problem rather than a large one, and the same is true when it comes to oral care. If you notice red, inflamed gums, see us right away — before the tender gums lead to tooth loss or infection.
7. Set bedtime reminders
Do you brush your teeth twice a day as the ADA recommends? If not, you’re not alone. According to Delta Dental, 75% of millennials only brush their teeth once a day. If your day is hectic and you overlook your bedtime brushing, try these tips for remembering:
- Set an alarm on your phone
- Leave your toothbrush on the counter so you see it as you get ready for bed
- Put your toothpaste tube on your pillow after you brush in the morning — you won’t miss it at bedtime!
8. Protect your teeth
In addition to protecting teeth from bacteria and decay, you should also protect them from injury. If you or your child plays sports, wear a mouthguard. Only 6 out of every 10 children wear mouthguards. Wearing a mouthguard can help reduce the risk of fractures, the chance of knocked out teeth, and the need for emergency dental care.
9. Rinse your mouth after eating
Even if you can’t brush your teeth immediately after a meal, rinsing with water (or just taking a few sips of water) helps keep your teeth healthy. This is especially important if you have a sweet treat.
10. Schedule regular dental exams and cleanings
One of the best things you can do for your oral health is to schedule routine dental exams and cleanings. Cleanings help remove plaque and tartar, but they also give us a chance to spot potential problems like the start of a cavity. The ADA recommends two exams per year.
Dr. Darj and our experienced team offer comprehensive dental care, so that your smile is healthy from the inside out. Whether you need routine care or are interested in other services, we’re here for you. To schedule an appointment at our El Paso, Texas, office, call 915-213-4097 or book online.