Taking good care of your teeth and improving dental health is about more than having a beautiful smile. In fact, people who have dental issues like gum disease have been linked with increased risk of serious health problems, such as heart attack, stroke, diabetes and preterm labor.
Here are a few ways to improve your dental health.
Get a great toothbrush
If you visit a dentist regularly, they are likely already supplying you with a soft-bristled toothbrush every 6 months, which is great! However, if you’re not visiting a dentist regularly or they aren’t supplying you with a toothbrush, head to the store and get the best toothbrush you can find within your budget.
It’s important to choose a soft-bristled toothbrush because we naturally brush harder than we need to. A harder bristled toothbrush can irritate your gums and even lead to loss of enamel if you’re brushing too hard.
Remember to floss
We know, we know…you hear it all the time that flossing is important. The truth is, one in four people lie to their dentists about how much they floss.
Flossing is the only way to remove food that gets stuck between your teeth, causing bad breath and potentially turning into plaque. We recommend flossing right before you go to bed and before you brush your teeth to remove any food and plaque that has developed throughout the day.
Make it a goal to floss at least once a day!
Eat a nutritious diet
While this seems more like an overall health tip (and it is!), eating a healthy diet that includes fruits, vegetables, grains, chicken and fish means that your diet is less focused on processed sugar in food and beverages. A poor diet can lead to gum disease and tooth decay. Foods that are high in carbohydrates, sugars and starches tend to contribute to the plaque acids that attack tooth enamel and cause your teeth to break down.
The best foods for your oral health include: cheese, yogurt, leafy greens, apples, carrots, celery and almonds.
Here’s a tip! If you can’t brush your teeth during the work day and feel like you need a freshening up, eat an apple! The texture of the apple will stimulate the gums, much like brushing your teeth will.
Don’t forget about your tongue
Plaque and bacteria can gather on, around and under your tongue. Oftentimes when we brush our teeth, we focus only on our teeth. When you’re brushing, flip the toothbrush for a few seconds and scrub your tongue. Or, you can purchase a tongue scraper from a local drug store or grocery store to get your tongue even cleaner.
Scraping your tongue can even help food taste better! Try brushing or scraping your tongue at least once a day.
See a dentist regularly
It’s recommended to see a dentist every six months, but at least once a year. A dentist will be able to fully clean your teeth, including the impossible-to-reach spaces, and can also keep an eye on your mouth for signs of cancer or disease.
At Community Access Network, we’ve recently added dental care to our services! To book an appointment with us, get in touch with us today.