The health of your teeth and gums plays a more important role than you might necessarily think. In addition to helping you eat, drink, talk, and smile, healthy teeth and gums provide you with more confidence in both your personal and professional lives. Studies have also found possible links exist between an individual’s oral health and a number of chronic disease, such as diabetes, obesity, and heart disease.
While most people have heard since a young age about the importance of brushing and floss for maintaining their oral health, there are equally important steps you can take to further improve you oral care. To help you enjoy the best possible oral health possible, here are a few helpful tips that will keep you smiling your brightest.
Ax the Anxiety
If you’re one of the millions of Americans who finds the idea of sitting down in the dentist’s chair an uncomfortable thought, you can’t allow your dental anxiety to prevent you from scheduling these needed appointments. Routine dental checkups and cleanings provide your dentist with the opportunity to spot any early signs of tooth decay or gum disease while the conditions are still easily treatable. Frequent exams also include oral cancer screenings, which are vital when it comes to combating the disease before it has the opportunity to spread.
If visiting the dentist causes you to feel uncomfortable, try using a few techniques that can help improve anxiety. Bring headphones to your next appointment and listen to some relaxing music while sitting in the dental chair. Focus on your breathing while sitting there, and try not to tense up and hold your breath, as that will only increase your anxiety levels. More than anything, communicate your fears with the dentist, so he or she can work with you to create a comfortable atmosphere.
Floss Before You Brush
Flossing before you brush can make the process of brushing your teeth more effective as it helps to remove lingering food particles that get lodged between teeth. If you’re one of the 51 percent of Americans who don’t floss regularly, you need to add this vitally important oral hygiene habit to your nightly routine immediately.
Don’t Pick Away
While removing food from between your teeth remains an important part of maintaining the health of your teeth and gums, you need to be careful when using a toothpick instead of dental floss. It’s easy to press too hard and inadvertently damage your gums with a toothpick when trying to dislodge a pesky piece of corn or bit of lettuce from lunch. Pressing too hard could also cause a toothpick to break off below the gum line, which can lead to swelling and bleeding of the gums. So while a toothpick makes an able substitute, it shouldn’t replace flossing in the long-term.
Buy a New Brush
Considering how often you use it (hopefully at least twice a day) it shouldn’t come as too big a surprise that your toothbrush will eventually wear out and need replacing. You need to replace your brush every 90 days or shortly after the bristles start to look frayed and worn, according to recommendations from the American Dental Association.
Cheese contains both whey protein and casein, both of which can help strengthen tooth enamel by helping to prevent demineralization. Cheese is also an abundant source of tooth building calcium and vitamin D, which aids the body in calcium absorbtion.
If you need an appointment at our Eugene, Oregon dentist office, please contact us today.