Once your adult teeth are in, you never get another set. Taking care of your teeth is vital if you want to keep a healthy smile and retain your ability to chew foods well into old age—not to mention avoid pain and discomfort in the meantime.
Fortunately, taking good care of your teeth is neither hard nor expensive, and regardless of whether you’ve prioritized your dental health in the past, there’s always time to start.
How to Take Better Care of Your Teeth
These tips will ensure your teeth (and mouth) remain in the best possible health:
- Brush twice a day (at minimum). Brushing your teeth is the most obvious way to improve your dental hygiene, so it’s secure at the top of this list. The standard recommendation is to brush at least twice a day, though sometimes you’ll hear advice to brush after each meal. Brushing your teeth with toothpaste gets rid of debris that might otherwise build up on your enamel, allowing you to resist the onset of cavities.
- Use softer bristles and gentler strokes. It’s tempting to brush hard, to get rid of as much debris as possible, but it’s usually better to employ a light technique. If you brush too hard, you could do active damage to the enamel of your teeth and cause premature gum recession. The same is true of stiff bristles, so make sure you buy toothbrushes with the softest possible bristles.
- Learn the proper brushing techniques. There’s a right way and wrong way to brush your teeth. While many people default to using up-and-down or back-and-forth strokes, it’s much more efficient and healthier to use small, rotating circles.
- Account for your dental accessories. If you wear dental accessories, like custom gold grillz, you’ll need to account for them. Dental Grillz and similar accessories are safe for your teeth, as long as you care for them properly. Remove them before meals and clean your teeth and mouth before using them. Keep them as clean as possible and remove them before sleeping.
- Floss daily. At least once a day, and preferably immediately before brushing, floss your teeth. Flossing helps you loosen and remove food particles and plaque that would otherwise build up between your teeth, ultimately resulting in cavities. If you floss before brushing, you’ll be able to remove any debris that you loosen in this process.
- Rinse with fluoride mouthwash daily. As a measure of added protection, rinse with mouthwash once per day, preferably after flossing and brushing. There are many types of mouthwash available, but the best is a fluoride-based mouthwash; fluoride binds with your teeth to create a thin protective layer, making it much harder for cavities to form.
- Get regular cleanings and screenings. While you may not enjoy the experience, it’s important to see a dental hygienist and/or dentist at least twice a year. Regular cleanings will mitigate the buildup of plaque on your teeth, and ensure your teeth keep a smooth polish that prevents further buildup. More importantly, they’ll take this opportunity to inspect your teeth and mouth; if there are any emerging problems, they can identify them and correct them proactively, before they get any worse.
- Avoid tobacco products. Tobacco products are responsible for a host of dental health complications, ranging from halitosis (bad breath) to oral cancer. Chewing tobacco, cigarettes, and other problems are notorious for this. Avoid them at all costs.
- Cut back on sugars and acids. While you’re at it, try to cut back on sugary products and products that contain lots of acidic compounds. These food and drink products can wear away the surface-level enamel of your teeth, resulting in cavities. Candy, sodas, and juices are especially problematic. If you do eat foods like these, make sure to rinse with water and brush your teeth afterward.
- Wear protective gear while playing sports. Many people don’t give their teeth much consideration when playing sports, but it’s important to protect them during these physical activities. If you trip and fall, or if an object (like a ball) hits you in the face, you could easily chip or lose a tooth. Fortunately, most of these injuries can be entirely prevented with the help of a form-fitting mouthguard. Simple mouthguards are also extremely inexpensive and somewhat comfortable to wear, making them a worthwhile investment.
Even if you have immaculate dental health habits, there’s still a chance you could develop a dental health problem. These tips just minimize the chances of those developments occurring, and mitigate the severity of those issues, should they arise. Most of them can be completed on a tight budget, and none of them take much time, so you owe it to yourself to follow them.