Taking care of your teeth will not only give you a beautiful, white smile that is pain-free, it can also affect your overall health. Studies show that people who have gum disease are more likely to have heart problems. Take care of your teeth with these five tips to ensure that your smile will last a lifetime.
1. Use the Proper Toothbrush
Even if you are in the habit of brushing your teeth twice a day, using the wrong type of toothbrush can make your brushing less effective. Use a soft-bristled brush with a small head for the best results. Soft-bristled brushes will clean the teeth without harming the gums or tooth enamel. A small head on your toothbrush will help you to reach all of the various parts of your mouth.
2. Brush at a 45-Degree Angle
As a child, you may have learned to hold your toothbrush flat against your teeth. However, the American Dental Association recommends holding the toothbrush at a 45-degree angle, giving it the best contact to clean the teeth and gum line. Hold your toothbrush at a 45-degree angle and brush vertically and horizontally on the front of each tooth and the back to get them properly cleaned.
3. Floss Daily
Flossing is an often an overlooked part of dental hygiene. Flossing helps to remove food, tartar and bacteria that get stuck between teeth, preventing tooth decay from occurring. Always use about 18 inches of floss each time and gently rub it between each tooth, forming a “C” shape on both sides before removing.
4. Eat Foods that Help Teeth
Sodas, hard candies and chewy candies can all contribute to tooth decay. Including celery, apples and carrots in your diet, however, can help remove plaque build-up when you can’t brush. Eat celery sticks for lunch and an apple for an afternoon snack to keep your teeth clean until you get home from work.
5. Regularly Visit the Dentist
Too many people put off visiting the dentist until they have tooth pain. Unfortunately, once pain is felt, further dental treatment may be necessary that could have been remedied with a small filling or proper hygiene tips.
It’s important to see your dentist for a check-up every six months, even if you are experiencing no dental problems. Children should also see the dentist regularly, beginning before the age of one. The Center for Disease Control estimates that dental costs are 40 percent lower for children who see the dentist by the age of 5. Begin early and visit regularly for the healthiest smile.