Did you know that cavities and tooth decay are two of the world’s most common health problems? Well, you might. But you probably won’t care until you’re in the mix of those statistics.
“I brush my teeth twice daily and floss at least once. I’m all good.”
If you floss daily (and if you’re being honest), congratulations on being part of 30 percent of Americans. For those of you who don’t, shame on you. But we’ve got good news: there are more ways to take care of your teeth. Here are our top seven tips to keep your mouth in top shape:
The obvious: brush your teeth
Regular brushing with fluoride toothpaste is what helps remove plaque and food particles from your teeth, aside from preventing cavities. It’s not the only dental cleaning method there is, and there might be places in your mouth that you’re not even reaching properly. You should never forget to brush your tongue, but are you remembering the back of your teeth? Do you brush for at least two minutes? Twice a day is good, but it doesn’t rid you of the next step.
The not-so-obvious: floss
Some people floss after brushing and some do it before, although a new study shows that flossing before brushing might reduce plaque. But is flossing so important that you can’t skip it?
Yes, it is. Unremoved plaque can harden and causes tartar, which leads to gingivitis and, if left untreated, develop into a gum disease called periodontitis. That all happens because Streptococcus mutans is competing with other million of bacteria inside your mouth, and it’s winning.
Don’t ditch the mouthwash
Depending on the mouthwash you buy, it may contain fluoride, which also makes it anticavity. Grab that one, and rinse your mouth with it after flossing and brushing. It’ll reduce the number of germs and bacteria in your mouth and give you fresher breath. Try not to eat or drink anything for 30 minutes after that.
Take it easy on all that sugar
Candy, snacks, and sugary beverages are what colonies of bacteria feast on. So cut down if you’re taking care of your teeth.
Acid-producing bacteria corrodes tooth enamel (or the tooth’s protective barrier) and makes your pearlies more susceptible to cavities and other dental problems. There you have it, the often misunderstood link between sugar and oral health.
Supplement with collagen
Skin, hair, and nails? Nope–collagen is great for the whole body, including our teeth since it promotes gum healing. You can take care of your smile and keep the previously mentioned trio healthy at the same time by mixing collagen protein powder into delicious smoothies.
Stop following fads (yes, that includes activated charcoal)
You’ve seen them roaming around social media: videos of influencers swearing by activated charcoal toothpaste and how they make teeth instantly whiter. While that might be true, it also erodes the enamel and may cause cancer according to Dr. John Brooks, a researcher at the University of Maryland School of Dentistry.
Moral of the story: you’re better off whitening your teeth with a dentist.
Choose the right dental insurance for yourself
When selecting the ideal dental insurance plan, choose one that’ll cover your dental care expenses whenever you need it without breaking the bank. Not all plans are the same: some only cover restorative care, others cover preventive care, and some cover both, but you’ll need to choose dental insurance according to your specific needs. Prices will vary depending on the plan, so your best choice is to compare health insurance and dental care cover options with iSelect.
Achieving a beautiful smile might take a few hours of your days and a little money off your pocket, but don’t fret. It’s an investment in yourself, and you’ll see it as soon as beautiful meets healthy.
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