How To Keep Your Smile Healthy for Life

A healthy smile doesn’t just look great. A healthy smile is free from tooth decay and gum disease and reflects whole body health.

Why Keeping Up with Your Oral Health is Important

What’s going on in the mouth reflects what’s going on in the entire body, and if you have poor oral health, it can also affect other underlying issues and organ systems. Take for example someone with Type II Diabetes. Poor oral hygiene leads to poor control over blood sugar levels. Irregular blood sugar also weakens the body’s ability to fight off infection, which can lead to worsening gum disease. The relationship between oral health and total body health is closely related.

It’s also important to maintain a healthy smile because otherwise, quality of life suffers. Poor oral hygiene can lead to unsightly decay, lost teeth, and bad breath. People with dental issues are sometimes reluctant to smile with their teeth, hesitant to show their teeth when they talk, and likely to suffer from low self-esteem because of it. Dental pain and loss of teeth can affect eating, so people suffering with these issues may not be able to maintain an adequate nutritional intake. Gum disease can cause bad breath and those suffering with it may avoid speaking to other people as much as they used to.

How You Can Keep Your Smile Healthy: Start with Your Toothbrush

It sounds simple enough, but with the myriad of different types of toothbrushes on the market, finding one that’s good for you can seem like a challenge. A good rule to remember is that you always want to have a toothbrush with soft bristles. Anything harder than that will damage your teeth and gums. Most electric toothbrushes have soft bristles, so those work as well. It’s important to note that worn out toothbrush bristles will not adequately clean your teeth. Replace toothbrushes every 3 months or as soon as you notice them start to bend outward.

The way and how long you brush your teeth matters the most. We have all been guilty of giving our teeth a quick 30 second brush when trying to get out the door in the morning, but 30 seconds just isn’t enough. It’s important to take your time when brushing because dental plaque is very sticky, and it takes some time to remove it all. You should angle the toothbrush about 45 degrees to the gums and use gentle, tiny circles. Brush for a total of two minutes at least twice per day, preferably after meals.

Keep Teeth Clean in Between: Avoid Tooth Decay and Gum Disease

Brushing and using mouthwash will not remove plaque that is stuck in between teeth, so we need to use a device to clean those areas manually. Regular string floss is the typical standard, but other types of interdental cleaners can be useful depending on your specific needs. Examples include Soft-Picks, floss holders, proxabrushes, sulcabrushes, and Waterpiks. Our Newport Beach, CA dentist can help determine which device is right for you.

When using regular dental floss, you will want to take your time. Gently see-saw the floss in between the teeth and pull the floss against one side of the tooth, creating a “c” shape. Rub the side of the tooth all the way under the gums and back up again about 10 times. Be sure to do the same to the tooth right next to it within the same space. Repeat this technique for all teeth in the mouth. Flossing once per day is adequate, and in doing so, you will have beautiful, healthy gums and reduce your chances of tooth decay.

Regular Dental Check-ups Help Prevent Dental Disease

Coming in every 6 months for a dental check-up and cleaning is a great way to help prevent gum disease and tooth decay. At your dental check-up, our Newport Beach, CA dentist will screen you for oral cancer, check for dental decay, and screen for other conditions like teeth grinding and chipped teeth. The dental hygienist will assess your gums for periodontal disease and evaluate your oral hygiene habits.

There’s no doubt that a dental cleaning leaves you with smooth, white, shiny teeth, but did you realize that it’s actually a preventative procedure? A dental cleaning removes soft and hard deposits of plaque and tartar and leaves a smooth surface that makes it difficult for plaque to reattach to.

Taking Good Care of Your Body is Beneficial for a Healthy Smile

Aim to decrease inflammation in your body by eating nourishing foods and lowering stress. Nutritionally dense foods aid the immune system in fighting off infection. Reducing stress decreases the incidence of chronic inflammation in the body, which we know influences heart disease and can worsen periodontitis.

Chronic inflammation is a risk factor for many diseases like gum disease, heart disease, and diabetes. Obesity is a known producer of inflammation in the body, so losing weight as necessary can also help keep your body and oral health stable.

Give our Newport Beach, CA dentist a call to schedule your dental check-up today!

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