Tips for Improving Your Oral Health
Autumn is a season full of change, which makes it the perfect time to ensure you make the right choices for your dental health.
From brushing techniques to a proper diet, here’s how you and your family can “fall” into good oral health habits:
Commit to Your Dental Health Routine
Good news! Having a bright, healthy smile isn’t difficult — provided you stick to some simple (but important) daily habits:
Brush Teeth Twice Daily
This should happen for two minutes, twice a day, with an ADA approved toothpaste. Choosing a toothpaste with an ADA Seal of Acceptance ensures it contains fluoride (a leading defense against tooth decay) and doesn’t contain any flavoring agents that cause or contribute to cavities.
To properly brush your teeth, make sure your toothbrush is at a 45-degree angle to the gums. You’ll want to make sure you brush ALL surfaces of the teeth (inside, outside, and chewing surfaces) with short back and forth, and up and down strokes.
While most adults become accustomed to this daily routine, it’s important for your little ones to learn as well. From choosing a cool toothbrush to making a game out of the activity, here are some tips on how you can make brushing fun!
Flossing is a vital part of one’s dental health routine, however, it is the one activity most skipped. If you don’t floss regularly, plaque can build up and cause tooth decay and gum disease. Flossing can be done at any time of day as well as pre or post brushing — whatever is most comfortable to you! Just be sure to do a thorough job and you’ll certainly reap all the flossing benefits.
Eat Tooth-Friendly Foods
We all tend to overindulge in sweets, candies, or other desserts that are bad for our teeth in the final months of the year. While brushing and flossing can help combat this, it’s still important to ensure your family is eating a well-balanced diet — which includes some tooth-friendly foods:
- Cheese: The casein protein found in cheese (or other milk products) helps to fortify the tooth’s surface and protect against cavities. It’s low in sugar and acid, and high in calcium!
- Lean protein: Foods like meat, poultry, fish and eggs are rich in phosphorus and contain valuable protein which helps to strengthen teeth!
- Leafy greens: Rich in folic acid, this food group supports cell growth and regeneration.
- Fruits and veggies: Fruits and veggies are high in water and fiber, which helps balance the sugars they contain while also cleaning your teeth. Carrots are rich in vitamin A which is ideal for healthy tooth enamel and strawberries act as a natural tooth whitener!
- Water: Okay, okay… so this isn’t a food, but it’s one of the best beverages for maintaining oral health!
Wear a Mouthguard While Playing Sports
Did you know, mouthguards can prevent more than 200,000 oral injuries a year? Yet despite this statistic, mouthguards are often seen as an optional piece of a uniform!
Mouthguards work for all organized and unorganized sports, whether they are competitive or not. Wearing one can prevent injuries not only to your teeth but can protect against jaw and neck injuries and concussions!
The last thing you want to happen is for your little one (or even yourself, if playing sports) to experience a chipped tooth or injury. Make sure you’re prepared, review our Comprehensive Guide to Athletic Mouthguards before your next activity!
Visit the Dentist Regularly
It’s important to keep yourself up-to-date with regular dental visits. This preventive care helps catch dental problems early, often when they’re easier to treat.
For children, they should receive their first oral exam by age 1 or within six months of their first tooth. From there, your pediatric dentist will advise how often your child should come back for a checkup — typically every six months. Similarly, adults may only require a visit every six months. However, based on the health history and risk factors for tooth decay, dentists may advise patients to come a bit more frequently.
Choose a Board Certified Dentist — Like AMPD
When you put your child’s health in someone else’s hands, you want to be completely confident in the medical professional’s capabilities. When your dentist is board certified, you can rest assured that they’re in the top percentage of dentists in the United States — with extensive training and experience in pediatric dentistry and the latest technology. We’re proud to have all board certified doctors here at Adelberg Montalvan Pediatric Dental and Orthodontics.
If your family is due for their dental health checkups, contact us today to schedule an appointment. We’re here to keep your smiles healthy, all season long!