Of all the health problems that can plague us, those involving our teeth are probably the most preventable. A few simple habits are pretty much all you need to maintain good oral hygiene.
- How to Brush Your Teeth: Brushing your teeth is important to remove stray food particles, massage the gums, eliminate plaque, and freshen breath. It also helps to defend against cavities and periodontal disease. Proper brushing technique is just as important as vigilance — be sure you bone up on the proper way to wield that toothbrush.
- How to Floss Your Teeth: Regular flossing is your best defense against gum disease, and it also fights cavities and decay. Good flossing technique will help you remove debris between the teeth, preventing gingivitis and periodontitis. Using the right floss and dental-cleaning equipment will aid in this process.
- How to Whiten Your Teeth: Some stains can be cleaned by regular dental visits, while others require more proactive measures. Brushing and flossing regularly is the best way to prevent stains. Professional bleaching can be effective in making your teeth their whitest.
- An Anticavity Diet: To promote strong, heathy teeth, eat a diet rich in calcium, vitamin D, vitamin C, and fluoride. Simple sugars and starchy foods are a banquet feast for oral bacteria. A diet that is full of sugars and overprocessed foods (or one devoid of vitamins, minerals, and crunchy fruits and vegetables) can eventually lead to decay, even in the mouths of the most avid brushers and flossers.
- Visiting the Dentist: Don’t let anxiety keep you away from the dentist’s office — the dentist is an important partner in maintaining your oral health. During a professional cleaning, the dentist or hygienist removes tartar and polishes the surface of your teeth, making it harder for plaque and tartar to adhere to them. The dentist then thoroughly examines your teeth and gums to search for any problem areas.