In addition to seeing your dentist at least twice a year for cleanings, there are five simple things you can do at home to help ensure your teeth and gums become healthy (if they aren’t already) and most importantly, stay healthy.
- Drink tap water. Most people don’t like the taste of tap water, so they turn to bottled water for all of their hydration needs. What these people don’t realize is that bottled water lacks the fluoride in tap water. Fluoride helps strengthen teeth, and amount of fluoride you can find in toothpaste and even fluoride gels does not compare to the amount of fluoride found in tap water. Trying buying a water filtering system, such as the Brita pitchers, to both improve the taste of tap water and receive your daily intake of fluoride. Your teeth will notice a huge difference as well as your dentist.
- Quit smoking. This really is a no-brainer, but unfortunately, many people either don’t understand or choose to ignore the risks that smoking puts on their teeth and gums. Smoking stains your teeth increases the rate of decay and increases your chances for periodontal disease. Worst case scenario for your mouth, smoking could cause mouth cancer.
- Cut down on sodas. We’re not asking you to quit smoking and drinking sodas (although that would be ideal), but everyone needs to cut down on their soda consumption. Yes, the sugar found in soda is bad for your teeth, but the acid contained in sodas does far worse damage than sugar. There’s a reason why some dentists call soda the “liquid chainsaw.”
- Floss. Surely you’ve heard at least one dentist in your life tell you to floss. Flossing cleans out the plaque that your toothbrush can’t reach and helps toughen up your gums to better resist disease. It also helps clean your breath. Ideally, everyone should floss every day, but flossing at least once a week will help.
- Use an electric toothbrush. Most dentists agree that electric toothbrushes are one of the best inventions for patients to use outside of the dental office. They practically replicate a professional cleaning. The only downside to them is the cost, but when comparing the cost of a toothbrush with replacement heads vs. professional dental procedures, it’s easy to see how it’s better to spend a little money now instead of a lot later. Ask your dentist what electric toothbrush he or she recommends.
Just doing these simple things at home will greatly help improve the health of your mouth and reduce the number of times you must see your dentist.