You’ve got your routine down to a near science, and you know what works best for you, your life, and your family. You try to exercise, eat healthy foods, and take care of your physical and mental health as best as you can. But sometimes it seems like there’s a new health or lifestyle fad coming out almost every day, and it can be hard to know what’s truly going to lead to a healthier life and what is just going to fade away once the fuss has died down. When it comes to your oral health, however, there are few flashy new phenomena in the headlines because what’s tried and true has hardly changed for generations! If you’re in need of a brush up on the best ways to care for your oral health, read on for a refresh!
1. Brush twice a day, every day
This may seem like a no brainer, but people can start to slip up over time and skip a brushing or two! But no matter what your schedule is like, it’s crucially important to brush your teeth at least twice every single day. More important still is the timing of your brushing. While you sleep, anything that is left in your mouth from the day before will be a hotbed for bacteria to grow in. Brushing at night after you’re completely done eating and drinking is going to clear away any leftover food or other particles that would otherwise help lead to overnight decay. Even with an evening brush, bacteria will still multiply overnight, so brushing first thing in the morning will help to reset your mouth’s hygiene and clear away harmful plaque.
2. Kick the sugar to the curb.
Your grandmother’s warnings about sugar rotting your teeth weren’t just tales told to scare you into eating your broccoli! Sugar breaks down into acid in the mouth and is a leading cause of tooth decay and cavities. Avoiding high sugar foods—especially those that are particularly gummy or sticky—will help defend your mouth against harmful acids.
3. Floss, floss, floss!
Flossing is as important as you’ve always been told it is, and no oral hygiene regimen is complete without it. Flossing helps to clear away plaque, bacteria, and food that our brushes alone can miss, which would otherwise lead to decay.
4. Incorporate fluoride into your routine.
The American Dental Association (ADA) won’t put their seal of approval on toothpaste unless it contains fluoride, so you know this mineral must be important! Fluoride helps to strengthen enamel, the protective layer over your teeth. Using a fluoride toothpaste or mouthwash will help keep your teeth strong and healthy.
5. Don’t use your teeth as tools.
Your teeth were designed for helping you chew and eat your food, not for opening plastic containers or removing bottle tops. Using your teeth as a third hand is just asking for a chipped or broken tooth, not to mention an expensive trip to the dentist!
If you have questions about how to best care for your teeth, or if you’d like to schedule a routine checkup or cleaning, give us a call at Oak Park Dental Group in Chicago today!