With junk food and sugar-laden treats bombarding Americans from every angle, maintaining a clean, healthy smile can sometimes prove difficult. In addition to frequent brushing, there are a number of simple steps you can take to preserve your pearly whites. Utilizing the following tactics will ensure that you emerge victorious in the battle against plaque and gum disease.
Regularly Visit a Dentist
Visiting a dentist every six months can go a long way in protecting your teeth from plaque buildup, gingivitis and other undesirable oral afflictions. Not only will your dentist thoroughly clean your teeth and gums and scrape for plaque, she’ll also take annual x-rays of your mouth in order to stop tooth issues in their earliest stages. Dentists can also treat such pressing issues as inflamed gums, tooth abscesses and cavities in a timely and relatively painless manner. In the quest to keep your teeth healthy, a reliable dentist is your greatest ally, so when selecting the right dentist, make sure to choose wisely.
Thinking that brushing is enough, many people simply ignore their dentist’s instructions to floss daily. Unless a piece of food is lodged between their teeth, these people won’t even bother taking their floss out of the medicine cabinet. It’s important to realize that your dentist isn’t spouting nonsense when she stresses the benefits of flossing. At the end of the day, brushing is only half the battle. Floss easily removes the food particles and bacteria stuck between the tight spaces that toothbrushes can’t reach. Over time, un-flossed bacteria builds up and causes plaque and tartar to form. In addition to protecting your teeth from harmful bacteria, daily flossing will significantly reduce the amount of gum-scraping you’ll have to endure on your next visit to the dentist.
Alter Your Coffee-Drinking Habits
With gourmet coffees and other caffeinated beverages at the height of their popularity, expecting someone to never drink coffee is both unreasonable and unrealistic. Unfortunately, everyone’s favorite hot drink is infamous for causing unsightly tooth stains. To combat this, make a point of adding cream to each cup of coffee you consume. This simple action will instantly change the chemistry of the drink, ultimately making it less likely to cause stains.
Indulge in Healthy Snacks
Not only is eating healthy essential to a fit body and mind, certain produce can play an integral role in brightening your smile. Crunchy fruits and veggies like pears, apples, carrots and celery produce excess saliva that expels bacteria from your teeth. So the next time you’re hankering for a snack, hit up your local grocer’s produce aisle.
Drink Plenty of Water
Water is one of your foremost allies in the fight against plaque, so make sure to drink lots of it. In addition to helping curb bad breath, swishing with water for 30 seconds after each meal will wash away fresh bacteria and lingering food particles. This is a particularly attractive option for people who are sensitive to alcohol-based mouthwash.
By regularly visiting your dentist, setting aside a few minutes for flossing each day and making small changes to your diet, you’ll be able to maintain a healthy smile for years to come. After utilizing these tips, teeth that shine too brightly will be the only oral problem you’ll have to worry about.