Even as people become more interested in maintaining good general health, dental health is still often something of a side thought.
Being proactive about dental health is about more than just avoiding fillings, however, as good oral hygiene habits can help set you up for healthy teeth and gums for life. There are four main ways to achieve this, and all of them are easily accessible to everyone throughout Australia. Be sure to keep each one of them in mind to look after your dental health.
Brushing and Flossing
Brushing and flossing are the bread and butter of dental health. You should be brushing your teeth for two minutes per day, followed by flossing between the teeth.
Naturally, brushing is important as its main function is to ensure that plaque doesn't get the chance to build up on your teeth, as this leads to tooth decay, cavities and gum disease. It also helps to remove small pieces of food that can easily get stuck between your teeth when you eat. Flossing takes this a step further and can really get into places that no toothbrush can really access, which is why it's so important to include both brushing and flossing in your daily routine. Even if you can't see or feel small pieces of food, you may be surprised at what flossing may remove.
You may even wish to add mouthwash to your routine. These can give you everything from a fresh breath to added fluoride and plaque-fighting action.
A Balanced Diet
Keeping an eye on your diet is about more than just your waistline - a healthy diet can also help your dental health. This is because certain foods, such as high-sugar meals including sweets, cookies, cakes, and ice cream, can damage your teeth. After a meal, bad bacteria in your mouth uses the sugar in food to grow and create acids that wear away at your teeth. Eventually, this can lead to cavities and even the loss of the tooth. Some foods contain more sugar than you might realise, such as cereals or juices, so be sure to read the labels before you make a purchase.
Other foods and drinks, such as red wine, tea and coffee, and vinegar, don't necessarily harm the tooth, but they can stain them over time. If you're concerned about having a white, bright smile, reducing the amount of staining substances you consume can help keep those teeth looking pearly white.
Meanwhile, there are some foods that can actively help your teeth. Naturally, calcium-rich foods such as cheese, milk, and natural yoghurt are good options as this nutrient helps to keep the teeth and jaw strong and healthy. Similarly, foods that are high in vitamins and minerals such as leafy greens and vegetables also help create the general health you need for your oral health to thrive.
On top of all of this, certain foods can help clean your teeth. Snacks such as apples, celery, and carrots can all act like a mini brush as you chew thanks to their high fibre content. Additionally, snacks like these that require a lot of chewing help to create more saliva, which is the mouth's natural cleaning agent.
Protection During Rough Activity
Physical protection is often forgotten as an important part of dental care. Many sports, such as hockey, motocross, snowboarding and more case pose a threat to your teeth, gums and jaw. These highly physical and sometimes dangerous activities require extra care in the dental department, so you should always be sure to wear mouthguards or helmets as needed, and ensure they fit properly for the maximum level of protection.
Should you experience a powerful hit without protection, you may end up with chipped or broken teeth. While most of these types of injuries are fixable with the help of a dental professional, prevention is always preferable.
Regular Dental Check-Ups
Of course, even if you take good care of your teeth through brushing, flossing, diet and protection, there are still some issues that can and will arise over time. That's why it's so important to visit a dentist regularly. During visits, he or she will conduct exams and use x-rays to check for issues or things you may not be able to see or feel, such as the growth of wisdom teeth or cavities. Plus, your dentist will be able to keep an eye on existing dental work such as fillings and crowns to make sure they are still working as they should.
A hygienist will also be able to conduct in-depth cleanings to help ensure your teeth are as clean as possible.
If you have any questions about how best to look after your teeth to ensure they remain healthy for as long as possible, ask your dentist for tips and advice you can use at home.