This article provides the top 10 tips for excellent dental hygiene and oral health care. It also cautions against certain habits, behaviors and addictions that could ultimately lead to tooth loss.
Want to keep your teeth for life? Then there are a few things you should know about what it takes to keep your teeth and gums in excellent condition. Some of these “best practices” are second nature, such as brushing, but others you may not be aware of. Avoiding the need for new teeth implants requires a lifelong dedication to dental hygiene and oral health care. Here are the top 10 tips from implant specialists who have seen it all!
1. Brush your teeth at least two times a day, preferably more. Brush for two minutes at a time, dedicating 30 seconds per quadrant of the mouth. Be thorough because your aim is to eliminate as much plaque, bacteria and food debris as possible.
2. Floss your teeth every day, preferably before you go to bed at night. Flossing is an essential component to any home oral hygiene routine. If you don’t floss, you’re not looking after your teeth properly and it’s as simple as that.
3. Make use of an ADA-approved anti-bacteria mouthwash in between brushes. It won’t only freshen your breath after lunch’s onion bagel, it’ll also help wash away food debris and discourage bacterial activity.
4. Teeth-grinding (Bruxism) and jaw-clenching do terrible damage to the enamel of your teeth. Over many years of Bruxism, people can grind their teeth down to the dentine! If you’re conscious of grinding your teeth during the day - a habit that is generally caused by stress - then try to stop it. If you grind your teeth at nighttime, as most people do, then have a mouth guard fitted by your dentist.
5. Diets that are high in sugar, starches and acid-rich beverages are bound to cause early tooth decay in people of all ages, even children whose teeth should be in optimal condition. View fizzy, sugar-rich beverages as treats, not as thirst-quenchers and try to limit your intake of:
- Energy drinks
- Foods high in starch, such as potato chips and white breads
- Fruit juices
- Coffee and tea (or at least cut down on your sugar)
- Sweets and chocolates
6. Alcohol causes dry mouth, which impedes the natural flow of saliva leaving your teeth and gums more vulnerable to bacteria. Alcoholic beverages also tend to be high in sugars and acids. While it’s perfectly acceptable to enjoy a glass or two of wine with your dinner, cut down on the frequency with which you consume alcohol, as well as the amount.
7. Smoking or chewing tobacco is a death sentence in many more ways than one. If you fancy getting new teeth by the age of 45, keep up that 30-a-day habit.
8. Receive treatment for eating disorders, such as anorexia and bulimia. Both, as a result of malnutrition, can cause your teeth to fall out, but the latter has an especially vicious impact on dental health. It’s important not to ignore such an affliction for many reasons, but one of those reasons is for the good of your dental health, which is expensive and difficult to fix once damaged.
9. Keep regular scheduled appointments with your general dentist and oral hygienist. Prevention is better than cure!
10. If you ever do lose teeth, get new teeth with dental implants. Dental bridges require healthy teeth to be sacrificed in order to provide them with support.