In the US, over 80 percent of people consider healthy teeth key to success in life.
Which makes it surprising that 120 million Americans are missing at least one tooth, while 36 million Americans have no teeth at all.
Tooth decay, gum disease, accidents, and illnesses can all contribute to tooth loss. But, with good dental hygiene, a healthy diet, and regular checkups, you can maintain strong teeth and a bright, white smile.
Keep reading to find out how to get healthy teeth.
1. Brush Twice a Day
Brushing twice a day is one of the most important teeth care tips there is.
The American Dental Association (ADA) recommends brushing your teeth for two minutes in the morning and two minutes at night. Brushing before bed is especially important as this cleans away the bacteria and food particles that have accumulated during the day.
Particles and bacteria can settle on your tongue and cause bad breath so make sure to brush there too. And, if you haven’t already, switch to an electric toothbrush. Electric toothbrushes provide a much more thorough clean than a manual toothbrush.
2. Don’t Over-Brush
Dentists stress the importance of brushing twice a day because any more than this can harm your teeth by wearing down the layer of protective enamel.
If your tooth enamel becomes worn down, this exposes the layer of dentin underneath. Dentin is full of tiny holes that lead to nerve endings. When these come into contact with foods and drinks, this causes sensitivity and tooth pain.
You can also wear down your tooth enamel if you brush too fast or too hard. If you use a manual toothbrush, aim for short, gentle strokes. If you use an electric toothbrush, let the oscillating head do the work as you guide it across your teeth.
3. Drink Plenty of Water
When it comes to learning how to keep your teeth healthy, drinking plenty of water throughout the day is another of the best tips to follow.
By keeping hydrated, you ensure your mouth has enough saliva to wash away the food particles and bacteria that can lead to cavities. Drinking plenty of water also helps you avoid dry mouth, which can lead to bad breath as a result of excess bacteria.
4. Floss Every Day
Daily flossing is one of the top dental care tips, yet only 30 percent of Americans follow this advice.
Regular flossing helps loosen the particles that regular brushing can’t reach. And, dental floss can be handy for getting out difficult food debris, such as corn kernels and seeds, after a meal.
Flossing also removes plaque, which means less chance of tartar building up. While regular brushing and flossing can remove plaque, only your dentist can get rid of tartar.
5. Get Regular Dental Checkups
Regular dental checkups every six months is another of the most important teeth care tips.
These visits give your dentist the opportunity to clean your teeth and remove tartar. Your dentist will also check your teeth for warning signs of problems like gum disease or cavities.
And, if your teeth show other signs of damage, such as chipping or cracking, your dentist can also give you more details about procedures such as tooth bonding.
6. Eat Foods That Protect Enamel
Good oral hygiene is vital for good teeth health. But, a healthy diet also makes a big difference to the health of your teeth and gums.
A varied and nutritious diet promotes good health and ensures that your body gets the vitamins and minerals it needs for strong teeth. And, eating crunchy fruits and vegetables like apples and celery also helps to clean your teeth, keeping them healthy and white.
Dairy products like cheese and milk are also good for your teeth. This is because the calcium these foods contain protects and strengthens your bones and teeth. Calcium also counters the acids in your mouth, helping to fight tooth decay.
If you don’t eat dairy products, make sure to consume foods and drinks with added calcium to help maintain strong teeth.
7. Avoid Sugary Foods and Drinks
As well as eating healthy foods for good oral health, it’s important to limit the foods and drinks that can have a negative effect on your teeth.
The bacteria in your mouth feed on the sugar in foods and drinks such as candy, fruit juice, and soda. This bacteria then form acids which soften your tooth enamel and cause it to wear away.
Once acid begins to eat away at your tooth enamel, this creates cavities and leaves stains on your teeth. The acid also erodes the internal structure of your teeth and can result in inflammation, gum disease, and tooth decay.
For good teeth health, stick to fruit when you want something sweet and opt for plain water when you’re feeling thirsty.
8. Don’t Smoke
Everyone knows that smoking is bad for every aspect of our health. So it stands to reason that smoking is also one of the leading causes of poor oral health.
The toxic chemicals in cigarettes like tar stick to your teeth and gums, causing bacteria to settle. Smoking also worsens dry mouth, meaning there is less saliva to wash away the bacteria. In combination, this leads to plaque, inflammation, and gum disease, and can result in tooth loss.
Great Tips for Building Healthy Teeth
A consistent and combined approach to self-care practices is always the key to good health.
And, as these teeth care tips show, maintaining strong, healthy teeth is no different. By following this winning combination of a good dental hygiene routine, a healthy lifestyle, and regular checkups, you can look forward to good teeth health for life.
For more health advice on looking and feeling great from the inside out, be sure to check out our other blog posts.