Many people think about their weight and physical health when someone asks, “Are you healthy?” However, there’s more to health than your body – you need to think about inside your mouth as well. Many people forget about their dental health.
You’re probably thinking, “I brush my teeth, I’m fine”. There’s so much more that goes into dental health than just brushing your teeth. We’ll go everything you need to know in order to keep your mouth clean and healthy.
There are many methods of keeping your mouth healthy, from brushing your teeth to flossing. We’ll go over everything you need to know to keep your mouth in tip-top shape.
As we mentioned, you probably already know you should brush your teeth. In fact, you probably do it every day. However, there’s a lot that goes into brushing your teeth. How long are you brushing? How hard are you pushing? How many times per day? These are all questions you need to answer.
There’s actually a way to brush your teeth properly and, believe it or not, not everyone does it right. Let’s start with how long you should brush your teeth – you should be brushing at least 2 minutes each time. It seems long but that gives you enough time to brush the tops, fronts, backs and gums. It’s also going to be a more thorough cleaning.
Do you know how many times you should be brushing your teeth each day? You probably think twice is enough and that’s how many times you should at the very least. However, it’s even better if you brush every meal. This prevents plaque from building up, caking your enamel or getting stuck between your teeth.
Many people think that if they have plaque on there teeth that pushing hard scrapes it off better. That’s just not the case. In fact, you’re actively hurting your teeth. Your teeth may become more sensitive and you can cut your gums. You can also cause a recession of your gums.
You’re not done when you brush your teeth completely – you can’t forget about your tongue. Your tongue actually holds a lot of bacteria that can get to your teeth. Not to mention the bad breath that this causes. You need to spend a little time brushing your tongue while cleaning your teeth.
For many people, flossing seems like an optional task, but it can make the difference in a cavity and healthy teeth. You’re going to want to make sure you floss at least twice per day so you ensure nothing get stuck between your teeth. Sometimes (more like many times), brushes can’t get that spot between your teeth and the bacteria will build up.
Something many people don’t know is that flossing can also improve the smell of your breath.
This is because the food and bacteria caught between your teeth can end up smelling bad, especially if it sits there over time. Also, most floss has a mint smell which will end up helping your breath at well.
A huge part of the health of your teeth depends on what you eat. Obviously, eating a lot of sugar and snacks can do a lot of damage to your teeth. However, did you know red meat can also hurt your teeth and well as hard foods?
What can you eat that benefits your teeth. Vegetables are always a good thing to eat for your body and it doesn’t’ hurt your teeth at all. Milk also has a positive impact on your bones and teeth. You’ll want to have milk in your diet to help your teeth become strong. Be careful, too much milk isn’t good for the rest of your body though.
You also want to find a lot of foods that are high in calcium. Calcium is known for helping strengthen your teeth and is the primary reason why we suggested milk in the first place (it’s very high in calcium). Other great sources of calcium are almonds, broccoli, yogurt, tofu, oranges and salmon.
It’s said that the mouth is one of the dirties, most bacteria riddled part of your body. So while brushing and flossing are great, you should also consider using mouthwash to kill any bacteria in your mouth that you may have missed.
Think about it, do you brush the roof of your mouth? How about the sides of your mouth? Are you sure you hit everything? Swishing mouthwash around in your mouth is a great way to ensure everything is clean.
There are a couple things you need to consider when using mouthwash. First, you should keep it in your mouth for about 1 minute. That way, you’re ensuring you’re hitting every part of your mouth and getting rid of existing bacteria. Also, make sure you don’t swallow it – it’s not safe and you’ll need to go to the emergency room.
All the cleaning in the world doesn’t mean you can avoid seeing a professional. You need to have your teeth checked every 6 months in order to ensure you’re doing the right thing. They can also tell you places you’re missing and any risky areas that could cause problems in the future.
Not only does going to the dentist include a check up, but you’ll get a professional cleaning from a dental hygienist who has tools at their disposal to get all plaque off your teeth. It’s a surefire way to ensure your teeth are at their healthiest.
Well that all sounds great, but let’s say you aren’t diligent about cleaning your teeth. What happens if you don’t keep your teeth in tip-top shape? We’ll go over a few things you should look out for if you aren’t properly taking care of your dental health.
While there are no negative scares directly associated with bad breath, it’s rather embarrassing. You don’t want bad breath, no one wants to talk to someone with it. You need to make sure you clean your mouth so people aren’t afraid to get near you.
Also, it’s important to note that bad breath could be a sign of a much bigger problem. You could have gum disease or rotting teeth which will require more attention. Keep an eye on your bad breath and make sure it goes away when you clean your mouth appropriately.
If you aren’t brushing your teeth properly, you’re going to see plaque build-up on your teeth which can cause a large array of problems. The most obvious one is that your teeth won’t be a beautiful white, but rather a gross yellow or brown. Much like bad breath, people will be hesitant to talk to you because of your teeth.
There are also many larger problems at hand when you have plaque on your teeth. It’s the starting stages of getting a cavity which is a hole in the enamel. You’ll need to see a dentist in order to fill those holes which will require minor dental work. Plaque can also cause larger problems like rotting teeth but we’ll get into the more later.
Gum disease can be a major problem if it isn’t treated properly. While the beginning stages of gingivitis only cause a little gum bleed when you brush and bad breath, more advanced stages can cause a lot of pain and loss of teeth.
The key is to not let your gum disease get to that level. Thankfully, I already mentioned the signed to look out for while are easy to spot. If your gums bleed a little when you brush, don’t worry but know you’re in the beginning stages of gingivitis. You need to be more diligent with brushing and start flossing. Mouthwash will also help strengthen your gums.
The most extreme, but very possible, thing that can happen when you don’t focus on your dental health is rotting teeth. This is when your teeth begin to rot which could cause your teeth to fall out. This is a completely avoidable situation with all the signs I mentioned from above. If you brush, floss, use mouthwash and visit your dentist regularly, you should be able to avoid this fate.
When someone asks if your health, think to yourself, are you truly healthy. You could be in great shape and eat a healthy diet, but your dental health could be in shambles. Don’t just rely on brushing only or twice per day. Make sure you’re taking care of your mouth and teeth properly.
Tips provided by Dr. Louis Abukhalaf a dentist in Carmel, IN of Smilecentric