5 Oral Health-Related Tips from a Dentist (& Why You Should Listen)
- Author William Buck
- Published April 14, 2023
- Word count 549
At this point, you may have heard advice like “make sure you floss every day” at nauseum. However, with staggering statistics like 90% of Americans having at least one cavity by their 21st birthday and 50% of American adults struggling with gum disease, it’s arguably more important than ever to listen to your dentist! With this in mind, keep reading to learn five common oral health-related tips and why you should listen.
Tip #1: Floss Daily
Recent research has uncovered that more than 50% of Americans don’t floss regularly and roughly 20% don’t floss at all. Why is that a big deal? In short, brushing alone only cleans about 60% of the surface of your teeth. To effectively clean between your teeth and along your gumline, you need to floss. Otherwise, you are significantly more vulnerable to developing tooth decay or gum disease, which can negatively affect the look, health, and function of your smile in addition to your overall wellbeing. So, if you are not in the habit of flossing each day, now is the time to change that!
Tip #2: Get a Dental Checkup and Cleaning Every Six Months
Unfortunately, many patients are under the impression that their biannual visits to their dentist are optional. After all, if they brush and floss consistently at home, why do they have to get a checkup and cleaning every six months? The reality is that these routine appointments aren’t just necessary; they are vital to both your oral and overall health. While the cleaning portion removes built-up plaque (something your tools at home cannot do), the exam screens for oral cancer, cavities, gum disease, and other serious oral health concerns. It goes without saying that catching problems like these in the early stages is essential, and it benefits both your health and your wallet.
Tip #3: Wear a Mouthguard If You Play Sports
Did you know that about 5 million teeth are knocked out each year in a sports-related accident? Loose teeth and soft-tissue injuries are also common dental emergencies that happen, even in non-contact sports. The good news is that reducing your chances of experiencing a smile-related injury is as simple as wearing a mouthguard during practices and games.
Tip #4: Be Mindful of Your Sugar Consumption
Let’s be clear; you don’t have to completely eliminate sugar from your diet for the sake of your smile. You do, however, need to be mindful of how much added sugar you consume. After all, it’s one of the leading causes of tooth decay in children and adults alike! One of the best things you can do is focus on adding nutrient-dense foods you enjoy to your diet. In addition to keeping you full and satiated, the vitamins will help keep your teeth and gums healthy from the inside-out.
Tip #5: Use a Soft-Bristled Toothbrush
Patients often adopt the notion that “the harder the bristles, the deeper the clean.” On the contrary, it’s more like “the harder the bristles, the more likely you are to damage your teeth and gums.” Simply put, you don’t need stiff bristles and immense pressure to clean your teeth. With a soft-bristled toothbrush, a toothpaste with fluoride, and a light hand, you can effectively remove food particles and other debris without harming your teeth and gums in the process.
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