Good Oral Health Tips

Good Oral Health Tips

Posted by Dr. Alicia Abeyta DDS FAGD on Feb 15 2011, 11:35 AM

Brushing and flossing

Toothbrushes should be replaced every three months, or sooner if the bristles become frayed. Choose a brush that feels comfortable in your hand and has soft bristles. While manual toothbrushes are the norm, electric toothbrushes can be more effective at removing plaque and hard-to-reach debris.

Dental check-ups

Regular dental checkups are important, even if you are practicing good oral hygiene. You should have your teeth checked at least once every six months. This allows your dental provider to detect any cavities or gum disease in the early stages, which makes it easier to treat.

Regular dental cleanings

Even if you’re diligent about brushing and flossing, plaque and tartar can still build up over time. During your cleaning, the hygienist will polish away this plaque and tartar buildup and leave your teeth feeling squeaky clean.

Eating a balanced diet

Eating habits have an impact on your dental and general health. A balanced diet that limits or eliminates sugary and acidic foods and drinks will not only keep your smile strong but could also reduce your risk of certain health problems.

Eating a balanced diet allows for the intake of essential nutrients to keep your teeth and gums healthy. Consuming a balanced diet can also help prevent tooth decay and gum disease.

Quitting smoking or using tobacco

Tobacco use is a leading cause of tooth loss. In addition to oral and throat cancer, which can develop when tobacco products are used, smoking and chewing tobacco can also damage your teeth and gums.

Limiting alcohol use

If you are a smoker, drink a lot of alcohol, or have a medical condition that puts you at an increased risk of oral cancer, you need to limit your alcohol intake. Alcohol consumption can dry out the mouth, which puts you at an increased risk of tooth decay. The drying effects of alcohol can also increase your risk of bad breath, cavities, and gum disease.

If you choose to drink alcohol, drink a glass of water after to help rinse away some of the residue. Also, limit your intake of acidic drinks like coffee, sodas, and fruit juices, as these can weaken your tooth enamel and put you at risk for cavities.

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