By: Dr. Michael Letham
One of the first things people will notice about you is your smile. A healthy, dazzling smile can’t be achieved overnight. You need to practice these six healthy habits to help create and maintain it. According to dentists, here are 6 essential dental habits for a healthy smile:
1. Brush twice a day and floss daily
Brushing and flossing are the most obvious yet the most neglected dental habits. People must always be reminded to properly brush and floss their teeth.
Frequent brushing will help your teeth stay healthier by preventing plaque from hardening into tartar. Flossing, on the other hand, will get rid of plaque that gets stuck in between your teeth and under your gum lines. Both practices will prevent the occurrence of different dental problems, especially the periodontal disease that can result in tooth loss and bone destruction.
If flossing is a difficult or irritating task for you, consider using an oral irrigator. This will spray mouthwash or water to help remove food and plaque below your gum line and between your teeth.
2. Purchase a high-quality toothbrush
As opposed to manual toothbrushes, electric toothbrushes are proven to remove more plaque. Its body is made to last for many years while the heads can easily be changed regularly.
A great alternative to an electric toothbrush is a soft-bristled manual toothbrush. Avoid using those with medium and hard bristles because aggressive brushing will cause your gums to recede and can even wear away the enamel from your teeth.
3. Drink lots of water
Water will help discourage the development of tooth decay as it helps clean your teeth. Make sure the water is clean and try drinking from the tap once in a while. Remember that clean water helps promote healthy teeth and gums and fights decay.
Refrain from frequently drinking sugary or acidic drinksbecause this will dramatically increase decay rates. Also, limit your intake of tea, red wine and coffeebecause these beverages are known for staining your teeth.
To help reduce the possibility of staining and tooth decay, you can drink these beverages through a straw. Most importantly, immediately rinse your mouth with water so the dark fluids won’t sit in your mouth for a long period of time.
4. Quit smoking
Aside from staining your teeth, smoking will also damage healthy gums. It can cause your gums to recede and can even create pockets around your teeth. In turn, this creates dark spaces between your teeth and makes your teeth seem longer. Remember that with smoking, gum disease can become irreversible.
5. Schedule regular dental visits
Seeing your dentist at least twice a year is the simplest way to achieve and maintain a healthy smile. During visits, your dentist will check for oral diseases and cavities. Routine cleaning will also be performed, which is crucial in promoting excellent oral health.
Professional dental cleaning is a must because this will prevent the development of periodontal disease. In addition to bleeding, swollen gums, this is also linked to other health conditions like obesity, diabetes, heart attack, sleep apnoea, and stroke.
Furthermore, regular dental examinations will also help determine if you are at risk of developing serious health conditions like oral cancer and high blood pressure. Remember that most health conditions can manifest in your mouth. Once your dentist has made you aware of such issues, you must take the information to your physician for proper diagnosis and treatment.
6. Get dental treatment ASAP
Dental problems do not heal on their own. When tooth decay is left untreated, this can lead to a tooth abscess. Early treatment means you will need less invasive and cheaper dental restorations, and this can help maintain the stability and structure of your tooth.
The same is true with badly shaped, discolored or missing teeth. Today, there are plenty of restorative dental services you can choose from. These include professional teeth whitening, crowns, veneers, braces, bonding, and dental implants. Depending on the dental issue that must be addressed, your dentist will provide you with different options, along with their pros and cons.This way, you can come up with a well-informed decision. Should you have any concerns, feel free to ask your dentist.
Noticeable changes in your teeth and oral health will manifest gradually. It’s not reasonable to expect that after a mere day of practicing these dental habits, your teeth and smile will instantly become whiter and healthier. Adopting healthy oral care habits over time is the way to go.
Makingthese activities part of your regular dental routine is definitely worth your effort, money, and time because they guarantee a healthy smile and a good overall health.
Featured image: Favim
Dr. Michael Letham is the owner and dentist at 24/7 Dental and Bayside Smiles. He graduated from Sydney University in 2000 with Honours, receiving the R Morse Withycombe Prize for Proficiency in Clinical Periodontics (gum treatment). Striving to provide a modern, holistic approach to dental care that is tailored to each individual's requirements, Mike's focus is on being thorough and meticulous whilst being caring and compassionate.