There are a few things that separate humans from the animals more than our attention to dental care. There are no other species in the universe that care about maintaining good breath, white teeth, and healthy gums. Meanwhile, it is one of the biggest first impressions humans use to size up another person.
Having good general dental care practices is important for maintaining an attractive appearance, and — more importantly — staying healthy, since our mouth is the gateway to every part of our body. However, many people do not really understand what good dental care involves. Only 56.8% of women brush their teeth as much as they should, and only 49% of men do. One in every five people are too embarrassed of their teeth to smile for photos. Even though your dentist recommends going in for a cleaning and oral exam once every six months, the average time a person waits between dental appointments is three years! These are all incredibly avoidable issues that contribute to dental decay, stained, crooked, or missing teeth, and poor overall dental health.
In order to keep your pearly whites… pearly and white, we recommend you follow these five important dental care practices:
- Brush your teeth, the right way.
The most efficient way to remove the flesh-eating bacteria from your mouth that decay your teeth is by brushing twice a day. You should brush your teeth in the morning and evening with a soft-bristled brush, to avoid abrasion that harms the enamel on the surface of your teeth. When you brush, hold the toothbrush at a 45 degree angle from your mouth, and clean the inside of your mouth with the back-and-forth motion across your teeth, gums, tongue, and roof of your mouth.
If you really want to get five stars in your dental care, get in the habit of brushing after every meal, especially if you eat something acidic or sugary. This removes bacteria from your mouth before it has a chance to multiply and destroy your teeth. If this is not possible, at least rinse your mouth out with water until you can brush.
- Floss those teeth every day.
Flossing is a simple chore that only takes a few minutes a night, but one of the least common dental care practices we stick to. Only 22% of people floss as much as they should. Even though most people find it a hassle, flossing is essential for removing the bacteria from between the teeth that decay the gums and lead to your teeth falling out.
If you absolutely cannot floss as much as you should, don’t worry. Some cosmetic dentistry experts say that you do not have to floss all of your teeth, just the ones you want to keep!
- Stay away from the bad stuff.
One of the greatest favors you can do your teeth is avoiding things that are highly acidic or sugary and rot them away. When you eat food with lots of sugar, it creates an environment in your mouth that bacteria thrives in. This empowered bacteria quickly attacks the enamel that protects your teeth and weakens it. Although rinsing and brushing after you eat is minimizes the damage, by avoiding sugary or unhealthy substances altogether, your teeth stand the bet chance of staying healthy.
- Say “No!” to tobacco.
This might be an obvious, but we’re adding it in case you don’t already know. Tobacco is very bad for your teeth, and your health in general. Not only does tobacco put you at risk for a variety of oral cancers, it stains and destroys your mouth along the way.
- Be faithful to routine dental visits.
Even if you have perfect dental care, sometimes your mouth develops cavities. If these cavities are treated right away, there is no harm done to your overall dental health. However, if they are allowed to decay for years before you catch them, it can cause you to lose the tooth altogether. By visiting the dentist every six months, and getting a professional cleaning, exam, and x-rays, you can ensure that any tiny dental issues are caught before they become big issues.
Do you have any other important dental care issues that we didn’t mention above? Please share them in the comment section below!