The teeth and gums are two major components contributing to your oral health. It’s no secret that you need to take care of both for good oral and overall health of your body. However, most people fail to do it effectively, thinking that all you need to do is observe good oral hygiene.
Good oral hygiene may be a vital component of healthy teeth and gums, but not the only one. We have the inside scoop or should we say secrets that our dentists share with patients for a picture-perfect smile with the help of healthy teeth and gums.
Secret # 1: Play more attention to your diet
The food you consume has an impact on you both physically and mentally. One major physical aspect it impacts is your oral health, which is why you need to have a sensible diet that consists of foods that promote healthy teeth and gums. Here are some examples of such foods:
- Apples: Not only do apples contain healthy nutrients, but they have natural acids that contribute to a cleaner clean mouth. The skin of the fruit serves as natural floss, that keeps your gums healthy. The best part is, both kids and adults can substitute their sugary dessert with apples, due to its sweet taste.
- Dairy products: Calcium is vital for strong teeth and there aren’t many food products out there that contain the amount of calcium that dairy products do. Be sure to increase your intake of milk and cheese for healthier teeth.
- Fibrous vegetables: The fiber found in fibrous vegetables can help keep your gums healthy. Eating fibrous vegetables also requires a lot of chewing which results in the production of saliva. The saliva produced results in healthier teeth and gum as it washes off any harmful bacteria in your mouth.
- Citrus fruits: Citrus fruits such as lemons, kiwi, orange, and guava are a great source of Vitamin C. Vitamin C is crucial for healthy gums as it ensures the connective tissues between your teeth and jawbone remain strong and healthy. It is also an antioxidant that fights off oral problems such as gingivitis. So introduce citrus fruits in your diet as a natural source of Vitamin C.
- Ginger root: It may be pungent, but ginger contains anti-inflammatory compounds that promote oral health. You don’t have to eat it raw or on its own, you can stir fry a small amount of ginger and add it to your next meal.
- Water: While water is not a type of food, your body needs it to function properly. Water can help reduce plaque as it washes away any food debris leftover in your mouth. It also promotes the production of saliva which is important for your oral health. You need to try to consume at least eight glasses of water on a daily basis.
While you want to increase the consumption of the foods mentioned above, you also want to lower your intake of sugary products. This includes chocolates, hard candies, fruit juice, soft drinks, and so on. Sugar might not be harmful on its own but it feeds the bacteria in your mouth, giving them fuel to produce plaque and in the long term cavities.
Secret # 2: Pick the products used for oral hygiene carefully
Everyone is well aware of the fact that brushing twice a day and flossing are key components for good oral hygiene. However, you need to be careful about the products you use when you brush and floss.
Things to consider when brushing your teeth
- Toothpaste: You can find hundreds of different types of toothpaste in your local pharmacy and all claim to provide you with healthier teeth and gums. When picking a toothpaste, you need to ensure it is approved by ADA and contains fluoride. Fluoride is important for healthy teeth as it fights the demineralization process of the teeth, the first stage of tooth decay. So make sure you purchase a floured toothpaste.
- Brush: The only thing you want to look out for in a brush is that it has soft-bristles. Using a toothbrush with medium or hard bristle can result in bleeding gums if you aren’t careful and gentle enough.
When it comes to flossing, you just need to pick floss you are comfortable using. This can be in the form of a thread or Waterpik, which utilizes pressurized water to clean between teeth.
Secret # 3: Visit your dentist once every six months for a regular checkup
While visiting your dentist for a regular checkup is not really a secret, however, a lot of individuals still fail to do so. Most of whom are either careless or have a fear of dentists.
There are two parts to dental checkups, examination and professional cleaning. Your dentist will start the checkup by examining your gums and teeth. They check for plaque, tartar, cavities, if any depth space between your teeth and gums is present, or any other signs that may point to an oral problem. If a problem is discovered, they will discuss treatment so it is treated immediately.
After the checkup, they will move on to cleaning your teeth. During this process, plaque and tartar are removed. Even if you have the most thorough oral hygiene regimen, it is normal for some tartar buildup which your brush or floss cannot eliminate. Dentists have special tools that help them eliminate the presence of tartar from your teeth and inner gums.
Forgoing dental checkups leaves you vulnerable to oral problems from cavities to periodontal disease. If you have a fear of the dentist, be sure to let them know. Most dentists are trained to deal with patients that are not very comfortable and are willing to take measures to make your visit pleasant.
There is no way to achieve healthier teeth and gums without a healthy, mouth-friendly diet, regular dental checkups, and using the right products for your oral hygiene regimen. You can have the most optimal of dental hygiene habits, but still, be at risk of oral problems such as gum disease, which has a link to cancer, without the secrets we have mentioned.
No better time than now to start your road to healthier teeth and gum. Be sure to visit your dentist so they can examine your teeth and map out a plan to help you along the way.