It may surprise you to learn that keeping your teeth and gums healthy is pretty simple. In honour of Oral Health Month, our Winnipeg dentists provide 10 brushing, flossing and general dental maintenance tips that will help you maintain good dental health for life.
Brush for two minutes, two times a day.
Brush your teeth at least twice a day, ideally when you get up in the morning and again before bed. Each time you brush, do it for two minutes.
Floss every night before bed.
Flossing removes debris from between your teeth that your toothbrush can't reach. Flossing your teeth every night before minimizes the risk of tooth decay between your teeth, and keeps your gums healthy.
Include mouthwash in your routine.
Rinsing with mouthwash daily can help kill oral bacteria that cause cavities and gum disease. Just remember that mouthwash should be used in addition to your brushing and flossing routine, and not to replace it.
Consider a mouth guard.
If you play impact sports, wearing a mouth guard can help protect your teeth and jaws from potential damage. If you clench or grind your teeth at night, a night guard can protect your teeth from wear and tear.
Smoking stains on your teeth, and it also increases your risk of oral cancer and gum (periodontal) disease. One of the best things you can do for your oral health is to quit smoking.
Try dental sealants.
Dental sealants fill and seal the pits and fissures on the surfaces of your teeth where food particles and bacteria can otherwise collect. Most often used for children, dental sealants serve as an extra layer of protection against tooth decay.
Examine the inside of your mouth at home.
Take a good look around the inside of your mouth regularly, and make note of anything that looks out of the ordinary. If you notice any strange lumps and bumps, have any unhealed sores, or feel anything out of the ordinary, make an appointment with your dentist to get it checked.
Choose nutritious foods to keep teeth healthy from the inside out.
The food you eat contains nutrients that function as the building blocks for your whole body, including your teeth. Be sure to eat lots of wholesome fruits and veggies, and minimize your consumption of sugar to prevent cavities.
Avoid pop and sports drinks.
Regularly drinking sugary, acidic beverages like pop and sports drinks can increase your risk of developing cavities. Instead, drink primarily water or milk, and only consume pop and sports drinks as occasional treats.
Visit the dentist regularly.
Everyone should visit the dentist at least every six months for a dental exam and cleaning. The dentist and hygienist have the tools and expertise necessary to clean your teeth more thoroughly than you can at home. Regular visits to your dentist help in finding and/or preventing any developing oral problem, and cure it before it gets worse.
While these 10 oral health tips are fairly simple, and are the keys to maintaining healthy teeth and gums for life.