You and your smile make a great pair. Together, you could take on the world, and you do, daily. A great, healthy smile is one of the first things people will notice about you. Unfortunately, the same is true if your smile is damaged or unhealthy. From stains to bad breath, when you fail to take great care of your teeth and gums, it shows, and sometimes smells. Thankfully, whether you’re proud of the smile you’ve got and want to keep it looking its best, or you know your smile could use some help, preventive care is the best way to give your smile the attention it deserves and the care it needs!
Taking Care of Your Teeth
From the time you were little you have probably been taught to brush your teeth twice a day, and most adults find this part of an oral care routine simple enough to work into daily life. Unfortunately, many view flossing as an unnecessary part of the oral hygiene equation, and that is simply not true.
Flossing is crucial because it helps rid your mouth of bacteria and food particles that brushing leaves behind. When you fail to remove these, tartar and plaque can develop, which can wreak all kinds of havoc on an otherwise healthy smile.
To keep your smile looking and smelling its best, you should brush and floss daily. A plaque-fighting mouthwash can also help keep your mouth clean, as can gently brushing your tongue (where bacteria likes to hang out). Just keep in mind that if you have chronic bad breath it may be a sign of gingivitis, the first stage of gum disease. Red and bleeding gums are other warning signs that you may have a problem.
Schedule a professional cleaning quickly if you notice these symptoms, as no amount of brushing or flossing can remove tartar buildup once it’s there. Only a professional cleaning can help remove it, and therefore, begin to restore your smile’s health.
Your Diet Can Aid Your Dental Health
But what about the time you spend between brushings? Is there anything you can do to keep your smile healthy and your breath fresh? The good news is, yes. There are a lot of steps you can take to help your smile in the long run, and that can enable you to have fresh breath all day long.
Drinking lots of water is one crucial step to maintaining your oral health. Not only does it help your body break down bacteria and the sugars that bacteria feeds on, but water can also help rinse food and drinks from your teeth, to help prevent staining in between brushing. Because of their high water content, many fresh fruits and vegetables can have the same effect, not to mention keep you full and give your body the nutrients it needs. You should avoid chewing on highly acidic foods, like lemons, however, as these can do more harm than good.
Lastly, if you are going to have a mint or chewing gum to further freshen your breath, opt for sugar-free options, both as cavity prevention and to keep your gums in good health.