Top 5 oral hygiene tips for a healthy smile
Our teeth play an important role in our everyday lives – from helping us form words to helping us chew food. But most importantly, teeth give our face its shape to form a nice smile. A bright and healthy smile is a great asset as it can impact our confidence, self-image and overall happiness.
Good oral hygiene is important in maintaining a nice smile, but it also helps to reduce tooth decay and sensitivity, risk of cancer, stroke, type 2 diabetes and heart disease associated with gum disease.
National Smile Month is just around the corner (13th May to 13th June), and the aim of their campaign is to promote the value of a smile by motivating good oral hygiene. Following these top 5 oral hygiene tips can help you get started on your path to a bright and healthy smile!
Practice general oral hygiene
Practicing general oral hygiene can be as simple as visiting your dentist regularly and brushing your teeth twice a day (once in the morning and once at night)! Simple changes and additions to your routine can help improve your oral hygiene. Consider investing in a small or medium sized head toothbrush and brushing your teeth in a circular motion using fluoride toothpaste. Rinsing with mouthwash and flossing can help brighten your smile and help improve your gum health. Read more about fluoride toothpaste here.
Cut down on sugary food and drink
When you eat, bacteria in plaque uses the sugar in your food to produce acids that erode your tooth enamel. Repeated attacks cause the enamel to break down, eventually leading to a cavity on the tooth surface. Identifying sugars in your diet is a good start in reducing acids associated with tooth decay.
Most sugars are commonly found in sweet treats (cakes, biscuits, chocolates and sweets), pastries and condiments (jam, honey and syrups) and sugary drinks (soft drinks and alcohol), fruit juices and table sugar added to drinks such as tea and coffee.
Chew Xylitol gum between meals
Chewing gum containing Xylitol after eating something sugary can help prevent the accumulation of plaque. Xylitol gum is especially beneficial as the bacteria living in your teeth cannot digest it, so they will die and not produce acid that causes tooth decay. Chewing Xylitol gum also helps to re-mineralize your teeth and help relieve dry mouth. Chewing gum on its own can help clean your teeth after a meal and freshen your breath!
A healthy diet is good for your teeth
Knowing which foods are beneficial for your teeth is a good start to having a smile-friendly diet. You can try including the following food and drinks into your diet to help maintain a healthy smile.
- Leafy greens, cheese, yogurt, apples, celery, almonds and peppers
- Nuts, breadsticks, plain popcorn, rice cakes
- Milk, green tea, water
A diet that is rich in fruits, vegetables and minerals can help prevent gum disease and protect against mouth cancer. Read more about smile-friendly foods here.
Prevent teeth discoloration
Your teeth can become discoloured by extrinsic (surface) stains. Surface stains occur on the outer layer of the enamel and can be prevented usually. There are many causes, including: coffee, tea, dark soft drinks and red wine and poor dental hygiene – inadequate brushing or flossing.
Practicing general oral hygiene can help prevent teeth discoloration. You can also use a straw to drink any beverage listed above to keep stain-causing dyes away from your teeth. It is also recommended to rinse your mouth with water after.
To read more articles about teeth and oral hygiene, keep visiting Permasoft!