Use these helpful oral hygiene tips from Dr. Maestri to ensure beautiful smiles and good oral health in between your visits at our Lafayette clinic.
Tip #1: Seriously, Keep Flossing!
We know it’s at ask and it’s easy to forget when you’re in a rush to head out the door or get in to bed. However, flossing can help remove food in between the teeth and damaging bacteria that even regular brushing can’t reach. Flossing prevents bad breath, formation of cavities, tartar buildup and gum diseases. A tip that will help you remember to floss is to put your floss where you normally put your toothbrush or toothpaste so you have a visual reminder to floss whenever you brush your teeth. We recommend flossing at least once a day.
Tip #2: Limit Coffee, Sodas, and Alcohol
Beverages that contain additives such as corn syrup and food dye can make your pearly whites appear dull and discolored. Also, avoid day-long sipping of drinks that contain sugar, this exposes your teeth to constant sugar and, in turn, causes acids to decay your teeth. So, remember if the drink is dark before you take a sip, it will probably stain your teeth!
Tip #3: Consume More Calcium and Other Vitamins
You need plenty of calcium for your teeth. It is essential for the teeth as well as your bones. It is better to eat yogurt, broccoli, cheese, andother dairy products. Calcium and Vitamin D are necessary for maintaining the health of gums and teeth. Milk helps strengthen teeth and build stronger enamel, giving you a healthy, beautiful smile.
Tip #4: When to Brush
Brushing twice a day greatly reduces the amount of buildup on your teeth and reduces the bacteria between your teeth and gums. If you brush only once a day, some plaque, along with trapped bacteria might remain, and over time can contribute to gum disease. Brushing twice a day, in the morning and at night before you go to bed, helps greatly reduce that risk. Also, keep in mind that late night snacks should be avoided but if not, remember to brush afterwards.
Tip #5: Brushing Properly.
Your teeth are not the only thing in your mouth so don’t forget to brush and clean your tongue, gums, and the roof of your mouth. This will help to get rid of bacteria that causes bad breath. Remember to brush softly because if you are harsh with your brushing, it can be damaging to your gums.
Tip #6: Use Mouthwash
In addition to brushing and flossing, it’s important to use mouthwash regularly. Mouthwash can help to kill and limit the bacteria in your mouth, help maintain good breath as well as strong teeth. When shopping for mouthwash, make sure it’s alcohol-free, as this ingredient can dry out your mouth, making them more susceptible to bacteria.
Tip #7: Keep Your Toothbrush Clean
Always rinse your toothbrush with water after brushing and allow it to air-dry until you use it again. Also, don’t cover your toothbrushes often or store them in closed containers, this can cause the growth of bacteria and mold. Keep them separate from other toothbrushes to avoid cross-contamination. It’s also important to replace your toothbrush every few months remembering, “when it frays – throw it away.”
Tip #8: Maintain a Healthy Diet
Tooth decay happens when plaque comes into contact with sugar in the mouth, causing acid to attack the teeth. It’s important to limit and control the amount of sugar you consume and eat foods like whole grains, vegetables, and lean sources of protein. Also, drink plenty of water! It helps wash away food particles and keeps your saliva levels high, which is your mouth’s best defense against tooth decay.
Tip #9: Visit Your Dentist Regularly
Even if you follow all of these tips exactly, it is never an excuse to skip out on your appointments. No matter how well you take care of your teeth, there are still dental problems that you may not be able to identify on your own. X-rays and exams are taken at your appointments to help detect and prevent future dental treatments from occurring.