Good oral health is one of the easiest ways you can promote good overall health. With good oral health, you won’t have to worry about having any serious dental procedures anytime soon and can look forward to a life with healthy, natural teeth. Good oral health will also help you maintain a great-looking smile too—especially if you’ve had cosmetic dentistry work.
Fortunately, improving your oral health and maintaining it is easy if you stick to good habits.
1. Brush Your Teeth Twice a Day — No Exceptions
The first habit you should include in your daily routine is likely one you already do. However, you would be surprised to know how many people don’t brush their teeth more than once per day—it’s one-third of Americans.
Brushing twice daily is essential for maintaining fresh breath and for preventing cavities and gum disease. When you brush your teeth at night, you’re removing all of the plaque, bacteria, and debris from your teeth that accumulated during the day. If you don’t brush your teeth before bed, this will rest on your teeth all night long, allowing the bacteria to breed.
Brushing your teeth in the morning helps remove the smelly morning breath and any bacteria that accumulate in your mouth during sleep. Both morning and nightly brushing are essential for your oral health.
2. Floss Once Per Day
In addition to brushing twice daily, you should also floss once per day. We recommend flossing before you brush your teeth at night. Flossing helps remove plaque and debris from under your gum line and from between your teeth. When you floss before brushing, your toothbrush will brush away whatever gunk you pulled out. If you floss after you brush, whatever gunk you pulled out of your teeth will remain in your mouth until you brush again.
Only 4 in 10 Americans floss daily and 20% never floss. If you’re searching for one of the best ways to prevent gum disease, cavities, and bad breath, flossing is it.
3. Don’t Forget Your Tongue
In addition to brushing and flossing, you should also clean your tongue. Your tongue can hold onto bacteria just like your teeth and cause bad breath. Make sure you brush your tongue or use a tongue scraper (this is more effective) when you brush your teeth. This will further remove bacteria from your mouth and give you minty-fresh breath!
4. Wear Your Appliances
If you’re supposed to wear any type of dental appliances, make sure you’re wearing them. Retainers are necessary after orthodontic treatment to keep all of your teeth from moving out of place. You should wear retainers a few nights per week for the rest of your life to prevent movement.
Additionally, if you clench or grind your teeth while you sleep, you should be wearing a nightguard or orthotic device every night. Otherwise, you can harm your teeth and cause wear as well as cracks and fractures.
Lastly, if you play contact sports, you should wear a mouth guard to protect your teeth from damage or from being knocked out.
5. Drink More Water
Another easy habit you can incorporate into your daily life to benefit your oral hygiene is drinking more water. Drinking water helps rinse bacteria off your teeth and out of your mouth! This will help prevent plaque accumulation and prevent bad breath from arising during the day. Try to drink at least 64 ounces of water per day to benefit your oral and overall health.
6. Avoid Sugary and Acidic Foods and Drinks
It’s not just a saying that candy causes cavities, it’s the truth. Candy as well as other sugary and acidic foods and drinks like soda can contribute to cavities. The high acidic levels cause enamel erosion which removes your tooth’s protective layer. The sugar causes plaque build-up, and the combination of the two leads to tooth decay. It’s okay to enjoy sugary and acidic foods and drinks in moderation. Just make sure to rinse your mouth with water and brush your teeth afterward.
7. Quit Smoking or Chewing Tobacco Products
Smoking or chewing tobacco products is incredibly harmful to both your oral and overall health. Tobacco products can cause oral cancer, gum disease, cavities, stained teeth, and contribute to a wide range of other health conditions. Quitting smoking or chewing tobacco products can make a significant impact on your overall health and oral health. Although this is a hard habit to break, the results and benefits are well worth it.
8. Visit Your Midtown Manhattan Dentist Twice Per Year
The last easy habit you can incorporate into your routine only requires effort twice per year. All you have to do is visit Appolon Dental Group in Midtown Manhattan for a biannual dental cleaning and exam. We will remove plaque and tartar from your teeth and beneath the gum line to prevent gum disease and cavities. We will also look for signs of other dental problems. If any pop-up, we will address them immediately.