Lots of advice is floating around regarding good oral hygiene. Dr. Jeremi Arroyo and his team at District Dental Solutions in Washington, DC are here to help and give you their top 10 tips for good dental care which will also help keep your body healthy as well.
1. Brush your teeth every day
“Take care of your teeth and your teeth will take care of you”. We have been hearing this mantra for as long as we can remember but it is true. Brush your teeth twice a day every day. This single act removes food particles. Left in your mouth, these food particles can break down an inviting bacteria to form and then lead to cavities, gum disease and tooth decay.
2. Flossing is as important as brushing
Just like Santa, your hygienist knows if you have been flossing. While brushing your teeth twice a day, to get your teeth really clean, you still need to floss. A toothbrush cannot reach between the teeth. Flossing helps to remove any food particles left behind by brushing which can lead to the growth of bacteria, plaque and gum disease. Left untreated, gum disease can lead to Alzheimer’s and cardiovascular issues.
3. Use toothpaste with fluoride
Be sure that your toothpaste has fluoride. This is the ingredient that helps to strengthen your teeth. Brushing regularly with a toothpaste containing fluoride can also help reverse early signs of tooth decay as well. It helps to protect those areas that are weakened or exposed that could eventually develop into cavities.
4. Limit sugar intake, including sugary drinks
It should be no surprise on this sone but sugar is a major culprit to tooth decay. The bacteria in our mouths love sugar! Food particles feed bacteria and if the food particle is high in sugar, then the bacteria multiply at a high rate. Keeping sugar intake to a minimum will help keep the bacteria levels down as well.
5. See your dentist twice a year
Good oral hygiene doesn’t just mean brushing and flossing your teeth twice a day. It also means seeing your dentist at least twice a year. During these visits, your dentist will check for signs of tooth decay before they become severe problems requiring complex dental procedures. Your bi-annual exam will also include X-rays of the bone structures below the surface as well.
6. Maintain a healthy diet
We are told by our primary care physicians that a healthy diet is good for our bodies but it is also good for our teeth as well. Beside the obvious nutritional value of healthy food, certain foods promote saliva production. Fruits and vegetables are chewy and crunchy and aid in the production of saliva. The more saliva that is generated, the more food particles are then washed out of the mouth reducing bacteria, plaque formation and gum disease.
7. Stay hydrated
Once again, what is good for the body is also good for the teeth. Drinking lots of water helps flush out leftover food particles and bacteria and also helps your mouth to produce saliva.
8. Don’t forget your tongue
The tongue also harbors bacteria. When you brush, be sure to run your toothbrush over your tongue reducing the bacteria that can cause bad breath.
9. Don’t chew on hard items
Whether through nervousness or boredom, we have all bitten down on non-food items at one time or another…pens, fingernails, etc. These things can damage our teeth. Hard candies are also capable of ruining our pearly whites.
10. Take care of your toothbrush
Your toothbrush doesn’t need any special cleaning but be sure it dries after every use. It should be stored upright and air-dried. Rinse the toothbrush thoroughly to remove any toothpaste.
Dr. Arroyo and his team are here in Washington, DC to keep your smile healthy. Please call to schedule an appointment at (202) 955-5787 or schedule online.