When you are taking steps to keep your skin and body looking as healthy as possible, don’t forget to add your teeth to your daily beauty routine. A healthy mouth leads to a bright, beautiful smile, fresher breath and a greater sense of self-confidence overall. La Jolla Cosmetic Dentistry & Orthodontics has the steps you need to build good oral hygiene into your daily beauty regimen and keep your smile looking and feeling its best.
Plaque is a sticky buildup of bacteria that begins to accumulate on teeth within 4-12 hours after a meal. This is why it is so important to give your teeth a good brushing twice a day to remove plaque and prevent it from causing cavities. Brushing should always be done at a 45° angle against the gum line, taking special care to hit the outside and inside chewing surface of each tooth. Brush your tongue also during your brushing routine to remove bacteria that can hide here and cause bad breath as well as other problems.
To Floss or Not to Floss
Flossing is not optional if you want to your teeth to be as fresh and healthy as possible. Flossing removes small particles of food that nestle between the teeth, causing plague buildup and leading to gum inflammation if it is left unchecked. Floss once every day, taking care to gently work the floss between the natural curves of the teeth and into the gum line.
The Magic of Mouthwash
Mouthwash is not a step everyone follows daily, but it is an important one to ensure a healthy appearance to the teeth and fresh breath. Using mouthwash after brushing or flossing kills any remaining bacteria in the mouth. Ask your dentist about the best kind of mouthwash for your specific needs. Some mouthwashes contain extra bacteria-fighting ingredients, while others provide a potent dose of fluoride to help ward off cavities.
You are What You Eat (and Drink!)
What you put into your mouth each day will make a difference in the health and appearance of your mouth overall. Healthy foods that are good for your body will also benefit your teeth, particularly those that are high in calcium like milk, cheeses and other dairy products. Foods containing omega-3 fatty acids, such as salmon and olive oil, may also contribute to better gum health. Avoid sugary foods that can break down the enamel of your teeth, as well as alcohol, coffee and sodas that can stain the teeth.
Why Tobacco is a No-No
One of the worst things you can do to your teeth is smoke or chew tobacco. Not only does tobacco permanently stain your teeth, it can increase your risk for both oral cancer and gum disease. In addition, many people that smoke consume more sugary mints and candies in an effort to mask their smoker’s breath. If you needed one more reason to kick the tobacco habit, a healthier mouth may be it.
Dates with Your Dentist
Most people need to see their dentist twice a year for check-ups and professional cleanings to keep their teeth and gums in top condition. A few may need more frequent visits due to gum disease, excessive plaque buildup and other issues. Maintain the schedule your dentist recommends for your professional treatments, to ensure potential problems are detected and treated as soon as possible.
Good oral hygiene is one of the first steps you can take to a healthier mouth and a more attractive appearance overall. To learn more about the best habits to adopt, contact La Jolla Cosmetic Dentistry and Orthodontics at 858-295-0603.