It’s a brand-new year, which means you may be thinking about ways to improve your happiness, health, and well-being. Perhaps, like lots of people, you’ve decided to join a gym. Or eat healthier food. Or, once and for all, banish a bad habit like smoking. And these are all wonderful commitments to make to ourselves.
But there is one important part of the body that people tend to neglect in their New Year’s resolution-making: the pearly whites. And the more researchers learn about the teeth and gums, the more apparent it becomes that their condition is integral to the health of the entire body.
How Can I Keep My Teeth and Gums Healthy?
Go ahead, purchase that gym membership. Revamp your diet. And by all means, get rid of that nasty tobacco habit. These actions are good for your body ― and will even have positive effects on your oral health. But here are a few more steps you can take to improve the state of your teeth and gums.
Say “Yes” to Fluoride
Unfortunately, fluoride has gotten a bad rap lately due to unfounded conspiracy theories that have proliferated on the internet. But let us be clear: the science shows that this mineral helps keep our bones and teeth strong. When combined with calcium and phosphate, fluoride strengthens the enamel, or outer coating of the teeth, and helps it defend itself from the nasty bacteria that cause cavities. Many municipalities include fluoride in their drinking water, and you can also get it from toothpaste, mouthwash, and fluoride treatments in our office.
Brush Correctly and Consistently
If you’ve gotten into the habit of just running the toothbrush across your teeth and calling it a day, take a few minutes to reacquaint yourself with proper technique. Because yes, it matters. If you don’t brush thoroughly for a full two minutes twice per day, you risk a build-up of cavity-causing bacteria and plaque. Brushing too hard can wear away your enamel, leaving you vulnerable to decay and sensitivity. Oh, and don’t forget to brush your tongue, which can harbor bacteria!
Don’t Forget to Floss
Flossing is an important complement to your brushing routine. You should do it at least once per day. Flossing not only gets rid of food stuck between your teeth, but done properly, it helps eliminate plaque and tartar stuck to the enamel.
Add Mouthwash to Your Routine
Mouthwash is an easy way to help keep your mouth healthy. It reaches all those nooks and crannies that your toothbrush and floss can’t touch. It helps rinse away bacteria, and the fluoride it contains will work to remineralize your teeth.
Don’t Skip the Dentist!
Adopting good oral health habits at home will go far in keeping your teeth and gums in tip-top shape. But no routine replaces twice-yearly dental visits. At McNulty & Dancausse General Dentistry in Charlotte, we will give you a thorough professional cleaning, spot problems through low-radiation digital X-rays and other techniques, and answer any questions you may have. Call our office at 704-766-8662 or fill out our online form to request your next appointment.