Part of seeing to your overall health is seeing to the health of your teeth. Believe it or not, the health of your teeth not only affects the appearance of your smile, but it can also affect your overall health as well. For instance, when you get a disease or infection in your mouth, it can also trigger other physical symptoms like nausea, vomiting, fever, shakes, chills and so on. Nowadays, ensuring that your teeth stay in optimum health is made easier than ever thanks to all the advances in modern science that have led to new innovations, tools and resources in the dental industry.
What Is Dental Care?
Dental care refers to the regular care that you provide your teeth in order to keep them in optimum health. Basic dental care consists of brushing and flossing your teeth regularly, eating a diet that it healthy for your mouth and teeth and seeing your dentist regularly for routine cleanings, checkups and dental examinations. More advanced dental care refers to the more advanced type of care that your teeth might require due to special circumstances. For instance, if you have an overbite or underbite and end up having to receive braces or some other type of treatment from a dental specialist like an orthodontist, then you’re engaging in advanced dental care.
The Importance of Dental Care
Dental care is arguably just as important as medical care for your entire body. Not only does dental care improve your overall health, but it also comes with a variety of other targeted benefits as well. For instance, practicing dental care helps prevent tooth decay and cavities, the development of periodontal disease (also commonly referred to as gum disease), the loss of teeth prematurely, bad breath, bacteria and staining. Additionally, practicing good dental care can also help save you time and money in the long run since you won’t have to spend as much time at the dentist’s office or have to undergo as many advanced and costly procedures. Plus, perhaps most importantly of all, practicing good dental care helps you preserve your teeth so that they’ll last you your entire lifetime.
• Brush your teeth at least twice a day every day. Brushing your teeth is the most basic and essential steps of dental care. Plaque and bacteria amass on the teeth when you eat and even when you aren’t eating. All dentists recommend that you brush your teeth at least once in the morning after breakfast and once at night before going to bed. However, some people choose to brush after every meal, which is certainly advantageous because this helps ensure that no food is allowed to sit on your teeth and accumulate more plaque and bacteria that can lead to gum disease and bad breath.
• Use the right type of toothpaste. Not all toothpaste is manufactured equally. While there are some toothpastes that might taste good, it’s important to ensure that you use a toothpaste that contains fluoride. Fluoride is the most active ingredient in toothpaste that helps remove plaque, prevent tooth decay and combat bacteria. Some people also choose to utilize a mouthwash that contains fluoride along with their toothpaste to achieve an even deeper clean and kill even more plaque and germs within the mouth.
• Floss at least once every day. While brushing your teeth is essential, it’s also important to floss as well. Some food particles get trapped in between the teeth and around the gum line that simple brushing cannot get rid of. Toothbrushes can’t always reach these tight places, but when you floss, you can ensure that every spec of food particle and every inch of tooth around your gum line and in between your teeth is cleaned.
• Avoid sugary and fatty foods. The food that you eat can directly affect the health of your teeth. Extremely sugary foods serve as a growing platform for bacteria as do starchy and fatty foods. Try to eat a well-balanced diet that is rich for vegetables, fruits, whole grains and dairy products. Not only are these foods good for maintaining dental hygiene, but they have positive effects on your energy levels and your entire body too.
• Avoid tobacco, alcohol and acidic drinks. Tobacco has been proven to stain the teeth and can cause oral cancer and gum disease while many alcoholic and acidic drinks can wear away the enamel on your teeth and contribute to staining. Try to limit consumption of these types of beverages to keep teeth white and healthy.
Academy of General Dentistry. “Daily tips for good oral hygiene.” Retrieved on June 7, 2016, from http://www.knowyourteeth.com/infobites/abc/article/?abc=D&iid=184&aid=3806.
National Institute of Dental and Craniofacial Research. “Dental care every day: A caregiver’s guide.” Retrieved on June 7, 2016, from http://www.nidcr.nih.gov/oralhealth/Topics/DevelopmentalDisabilities/DentalCareEveryDay.htm.
Academy of General Dentistry
560 West Lake Street
Chicago, IL 60661
National Institute of Dental and Craniofacial Research
31 Center Drive
Bethesda, MD 20892-2190