When’s the last time you gave your teeth a serious thought? Maybe at your dental exam. Maybe even the last time you had a tooth ache. Or maybe twice a day while brushing your teeth. And you’re not alone. The truth is many adults don’t give their teeth a second thought day to day and yet they plan a very important part in our overall health. Many of us don’t realize there are simple things we can do to keep our teeth as healthy as possible.
Here are ten easy tips for keeping your teeth pearly white and healthy for years to come!
- Get into a routine for brushing: Always brush your teeth two times a day and for two minutes at a time. The American Dental Association also recommends using a fluoride toothpaste as well as flossing.
- Slow on sweets: Sugar and sweet snacks can wreak havoc on your teeth so opt for the fruits and vegetables instead. If you must have snacks always remember to brush afterwards to prevent damage which happens when bacteria in the mouth breaks down sugars and produces acids that can erode teeth. Sticky candies can also linger causing issues.
- Out with the old: Toothbrushes should be changed 3 to 4 times a year so get on a rotation that is easy to remember like the change of seasons.
- Don’t use tobacco: Choose to not smoke or use smokeless tobacco as it can stain teeth and significantly increase the risk of gum disease and oral cancer.
- Check in with the Dentist twice per year: The American Dental Association recommends that you have a checkup every 6 months or more often if you have certain issues or problems.
- Be Aware: See your doctor or a dentist if you have sudden changes in taste and smell as it could be a sign of an issue.
- Don’t use teeth to open things: It seems silly to say but using your teeth to open containers, crack nuts, remove bottle tops, open packaging, or remove tags off of clothing it can result in serious unnecessary damage such as cracking, pulling out, or even breaking teeth.
- If you lose a tooth by having it knocked out: Save it or if possible try to hold it in place while seeking immediate dental care. If this is not an option carefully wrap the tooth in plastic and place it in milk until care is available.
- Protect your teeth from danger: Many adults lose or crack teeth playing sports each year. To avoid unnecessary trauma when playing contact sports wear a mouth guard to protect teeth and gums. If you participate in endurance sports that rely on gu’s and chews for energy read THIS article for tips to protect teeth.
- Limit alcohol, acidic drinks, and sugary beverages: Acids from foods can soften tooth enamel and cause cavities. Replace these beverages with water and if you do drink them brush immediately after to avoid damage.
What tips do you use to keep your teeth healthy?
American Dental Association: http://www.ada.org/en/
Centers for Disease Control and Prevention: http://www.cdc.gov/oralhealth/publications/factsheets/childrens_oral_health/brushup.htm