After childhood, you get one set of teeth to last you the rest of your life. Though designed to last as long as you do, uncared for teeth can lead to painful, expensive problems later in life. Keep yours strong with these basic tenets of teeth and gum health.
Teeth should be brushed 30 minutes after every meal to allow for the enamel that may have been softened by the acids in the food to harden again. If this is an impossibility, twice per day is also acceptable. This practice wipes away any plaque buildup. Plaque, if left alone, will begin producing acid that eats through the teeth, resulting in cavities.
Often avoided for various reasons, flossing is arguably more important than brushing. While a good brush cleans away easy-to-reach bacteria, flossing disrupts dangerous buildup between the teeth in places where brushes cannot reach. Unlike brushing, this only has to be done once per day to be effective.
As a final step to the mouth and gum cleaning process, rinsing with a fluoride wash offers a final level of protection. If both the flossing and brushing have failed to kill everything, rinsing will do the trick. Because it is a liquid, it can reach every crevice without problem, killing remaining bacteria and reducing the risk of plaque and gum disease in the process. This should be done at least one per day.
Internally, your body supplies the gums with the nutrients they need to keep the teeth protected. The body gets these nutrients from the foods you eat. Therefore, it’s of vital importance to maintain a healthy diet so the mouth can regulate its own health. In addition, keep acidic drinks and foods to a minimum. These disrupt the flow of saliva, an important part of gum health. Opt, instead, for water, fruits and vegetables.
According to Dr. Bryan Murray, dental visits should happen at least once every six months. The cleaning removes any tartar buildup between the teeth, and the check-up allows the dentist to detect any possible issues, like gum disease or potential cavities.
Taking care of your teeth and gums should never be seen as a chore. They are an integral part to your body’s continued health and functioning. Provided you do what you can each day to ensure their health, they will be with you working at maximum potential until the day you no longer need them.