8 Secrets of Healthy Smiles

Some secrets are worth sharing - here's how you can keep your pearly whites shining bright.

Secret 1: A Regular Routine.

The American Dental Association recommends brushing your teeth twice a day with a soft-bristled brush – and flossing daily. Flossing can eliminate bacteria that your brush cannot reach. Good at-home care is the only way to prevent plaque buildup, other than regular dental checkups.

Secret 2: Regular Dental Checkups.

Regular oral health exams are an important step in keeping your mouth healthy. 

Current guidelines recommend seeing a dentist for a checkup and cleaning every six months. In addition to removing plaque and polishing your teeth, your dentist can apply fluoride, administer sealants, and look for any warning signs of gum disease and tooth decay.

Secret 3: Good Technique.

With each brushing session, you should slant your toothbrush at a 45-degree angle to your gums and gently move it in a circular motion – rather than a back-and-forth motion – for a minimum of two minutes. Don’t forget to clean your tongue too.

Secret 4: The Right Tools.

Be sure both your toothpaste and mouthwash contain fluoride. Also, be sure to replace your toothbrush every three to four months and rinse it thoroughly after you brush – you don’t want to transfer bacteria to your mouth!

Secret 5: No Abuse.

Using teeth for odd jobs – like tearing something open or uncapping a bottle – can lead to chipping, fracture, and other trauma. Bottom line: don’t use teeth as tools!

Secret 6: Good Nutrition.

A balanced, low-sugar diet can go a long way in protecting your teeth. Foods that are firm and crisp – like apples, celery, and carrots – can actually help clean teeth as they’re eaten. If you do partake in sweet treats, be sure to brush immediately after consumption to remove excess sugar.

Secret 7: A Good Rinse.

If you can, take some time to rinse your mouth out after eating. A swig of water will dilute the acid that attacks your tooth enamel for at least 20 minutes every time you eat.

Secret 8: Being Proactive.

Be sure to see your dentist immediately if you have any problems, such as a tooth sensitivity, a toothache, or a sore. Usually the sooner you can treat a problem, the better.

An Expert Weighs In

"Many patients think they are coming to our office 'just for a cleaning.' However, your visit to the dentist is much more than that. Our registered dental hygienists provide care by removing all plaque and calculus from the teeth both above and below the gum tissue. We use the latest technology including an air polishing system that combines water and baking soda to remove stains and debris from your teeth. Every doctor exam involves a thorough evaluation of your teeth, gum tissue, and TMJ, including screenings for periodontitis and oral cancer."

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