Good oral health is a goal that all of us should share, and the good news is it is practical and attainable. There are specific steps that almost anyone can take that will immediately start steering your oral and dental health in the right direction.
Maybe you have poor oral health currently. Or maybe you have already lost some teeth or are about to have an extraction. Some may have had gum disease in the past or have been cavity-prone. That’s no reason why you can’t start now to make things better for your mouth!
Here are five practical ways that almost everyone can improve his or her oral health.
1. Improve Your At-home Daily Oral Care
If you didn’t grow up with the habit of an effective, daily oral health regimen, it may not come naturally to you. But even if you have always brushed and flossed over the years, there are things that most people can do to improve the effectiveness of their daily oral care session.
Here are a handful of ideas that may help you take better care of your teeth, gums, and mouth:
- Brush your teeth at a 45-degree angle rather than 90 degrees.
- Use a soft-bristled brush that will not scrape enamel or hurt your gums.
- Brush for about 2 minutes straight. Listen to a favorite song while brushing if that helps you time it right.
- Use short back-and-forth strokes and brush gently.
- Brush and floss at least twice a day: after breakfast and right before retiring to bed for the night.
- Floss on both sides of every interdental space, rubbing up against the tooth and following its natural curves.
- Get a new toothbrush every three or four months – whether you need it or not!
- Gargle half a minute with an antiseptic mouth wash.
- Be careful to brush your tongue since it gathers a huge amount of germs.
- Scrape carefully along the top of your gumline with a toothpick. If you miss this spot, plaque could form on the gum line and lead to gingivitis or worse.
2. Schedule Regular Dental Checkups
No matter how well you perform your daily task of cleaning your teeth and gums, you will still need to get a dental checkup every so often.
And unless you make a point of scheduling your appointments ahead of time, chances are you will forget about it or only end up going in a dental emergency situation. But regular checkups could have prevented the emergency, to begin with, in many cases.
Aside from a general dentist, it makes sense to schedule a visit with a periodontist if you are worried about tooth loss and gum health. And, if you have tooth misalignment issues, you should see an orthodontist at least once a year.
3. Replace Missing Teeth With Dental Implants
When natural teeth are missing, it creates a number of problems for your oral health. It’s about more than just how that gap affects the aesthetics of your smile, although restoring your natural smile is certainly a valid reason in its own right to get dental implants.
When a tooth falls out, the pressure it once exerted on the gum and bone tissue below it is now gone too. That causes your body to “resorb” some of the bone mass and the gums to shrink in that area.
It is also not uncommon for the socket where a tooth used to be to get infected. Sometimes, food particles get caught inside of it. Other times, it’s just a matter of bacteria colonizing in the empty socket.
Missing teeth can also impact how you chew food and (thus) how well it is digested. When food isn’t fully digested going through your system, your nutrient absorption rate declines. And missing teeth may also affect your speech patterns.
These days, you can get missing teeth replaced in a single day in many cases. And dental implants can do much to improve your lifestyle. Modern dental implants look, feel, and function just like natural teeth – and they last for decades.
4. Watch Your Periodontal Health
Your gums should not be neglected in favor of your teeth. Both are important to your oral health. Most US adults will have some form of gum disease at some point during their lives, but this need not be so!
Make a point of keeping an eye on your gums every time you brush your teeth. If your gums begin to recede, bleed easily, get painful to the touch, become red or swollen, or pull away from your tooth roots, you may need periodontal treatment.
Also, be sure to gently! brush your gums with a soft-bristled toothbrush. You can’t afford to let bacteria and plaque build up on your gum tissue any more than on your tooth enamel.
5. Don’t Ignore The Warning Signs
Finally, we should say that one of the best ways to protect your oral health for life is to simply be on the lookout for any signs of tooth, gum, or other oral problems.
If you even suspect that you have a problem, you should take it seriously. It is far better to call up your periodontist to ask some questions about your concerns than to worry about it, and potentially suffer the consequences of inaction.
To learn more about how to take simple steps to improve, protect, and prolong your oral health, be it through better oral hygiene, dental implants, periodontal care, or any other way – contact the experts at Ormond Beach Periodontics & Implant Dentistry today!