Your smile is one of the first things people notice, and it has the power to light up the entire room. And while many people are concerned about the appearance of their teeth, over 40% of people admit that they do not visit their dentists the recommended amount. While most dentists recommend for the average person to see a dentist every 6 months for a professional cleaning and exam, there are others habits you can develop at home that can help increase your oral health.

Brush and Floss

Brushing for at least 2 minutes, twice a day, and with fluoride toothpaste is a huge step in keeping up with your oral care. Flossing should be done once a day in order to remove plaque and hard to reach food particles that your toothbrush misses. Flossing not only helps prevent the plaque from building into tartar, but it also helps your teeth keep a brighter, cleaner appearance!

Avoid Damaging Foods

Your diet affects more than your weight and blood pressure, it can also have a huge bearing on your teeth! Foods like sour candies are especially damaging to your teeth. The acids used to make the candy the sour flavor that you crave is very tough on teeth, not to mention sour candies that are chewy stick to your teeth longer, making the cleaning process much more difficult. Carbonated drinks are also tough on teeth. Sodas increase the amount of acid that spread plaque and decays your teeth, not to mention that dark sodas leave dark, unsightly stains. Other foods and beverages that can be harmful include alcohol, chips, citrus, and ice chewing. Limiting these can help keep your teeth healthy and bright!

Stop Tobacco Use

People who use tobacco products like cigarettes, cigars, or dip are at a much higher risk for gum disease. Because tobacco irritates the gums, it causes them to pull away from the teeth, leaving a lot of room for infection. Tobacco also reduces your immune system, making you more susceptible to infection and increasing your risk of oral cancer. Not to mention, smoking leaves behind yellow stains. 

Stay Hydrated

Hydration is an important part of your overall health, but it actually affects your oral health as well! There are a lot of causes for dry mouth like genetic dispositions, side effects of different medications, or illness. If you are having trouble staying hydrated and avoiding dry mouth, consider some temporary fixes like chewing sugarless gum and regularly using mouthwash. If you experience dry mouth for an extended amount of time, consult with your dentist or with your medical doctor so that they can create the best plan for you and your health!

While there is not a one size fits all solution when it comes to health, there are steps you can take to work toward a healthy lifestyle. The best care for your teeth and gums starts at home with your personal, daily habits. Consulting with your dentist in order to get the best care plan for you and staying consistent with your oral care routine is the best method for getting the smile you always wanted!

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