How to care for teeth

teeth

It's important to care for your teeth and gums properly so as to avoid cavities, gingivitis, and other ailments. Proper care will also prevent pain and improve their appearance as well.

This article will provide you with some useful tips on how to care for teeth effectively, so keep reading!

Brushing

Brushing teeth and gums thoroughly is essential, but it is important not to push the brush against them too hard. This can cause gums to recede and expose more of each tooth. Dentists generally recommend brushing for about two minutes, at least twice per day.

Always be sure to brush after meals or snacks, esp. if you consume a beverage or dessert containing sugar. When this isn't possible, at least rinse your mouth with water or chew on a stick of sugar-free gum.

 

Brushes

Each type of tooth brush available has some benefits and drawbacks. A traditional brush can usually be obtained for free from your dentist, or at minimal cost in a store, and doesn't consume batteries or electricity. Traditional brushes with improved handles, wider heads, or other enhancements are also available. Electric tooth brushes are more thorough and less likely to cause gum recession.

A local dental hygienist recommends electric brushes with round brush heads for more effective tooth and gum care, including the Braun Oral-B Vitality. This brush comes with its own charging unit and has a built-in timer that lets you know when it has been running for two minutes.

Remember to replace the brush or its brush head when the bristles become bent, or after it has been used for over one-hundred days. Keep it in a clean area and rinse it before use.

 

Eating

Making a few adjustments to how you eat and drink also helps care for teeth. Drinking soda or sugary juices over a short period of time is less harmful than drinking them slowly. It is also helpful to eat meals which are large enough so that you don't have to consume snacks before the next meal. Salads can help clean them as well, especially if sugary types of dressing are not used.

Yellowing

Among others, smoking cigarettes and drinking tea frequently are two activities which can promote tooth yellowing. Some brands offer "whitening" toothpaste which aims to reduce this effect. However, this type of toothpaste can cause discomfort if your teeth are sensitive; some brands sell more expensive sensitive whitening toothpaste, including Sensodyne, Rembrandt, and Colgate. Tooth whitening strips, such as Crest Whitestrips, offer a more costly alternative.

Flossing

It is best to floss once each day, as well as every time food becomes stuck between one tooth and another. Gums are more likely to bleed during flossing if they haven't been regularly flossed for the past couple weeks or longer. There is usually little difference in how much waxed or unwaxed floss costs. It is less likely to become stuck between teeth if it is waxed. However, very small pieces of the wax may come off it while flossing.

Some devices are available which can be used to supplement or replace flossing. Water jets (like the WaterPik) and oral irrigators work well, although they aren't quite as effective. They are also preferable for people with braces. Enhanced plastic toothpicks, such as BrushPicks, can be used both to dislodge food from between the teeth and to remove plaque. Mouthwash is useful for eliminating bacteria and plaque, but should not be used as a replacement for floss.

The dentist

If possible, visit a dentist at least yearly for a cleaning; this will also help identify any problems with your mouth, or adjustments you need to make in how you take care of it. Although health insurance is rather expensive, dental ins. is often fairly affordable. If lips are cracked or chapped, remember to use lip balm in the days prior to visiting the dentist, so that bleeding won't be caused by the dental instruments touching them.

Children

Some additional efforts should be made to help take care of your children’s teeth. If the home's water is not fluoridated, giving children fluoride mouthwash (but not excessively) significantly helps to prevent cavities. Some elementary schools offer to periodically supply children this type of mouthwash free of charge, with their parents' permission. Make sure the toothpaste's flavor is not unpleasant, as this may discourage children from brushing regularly. Children don't need to start flossing until their baby teeth have fallen out.

Toothache care

A toothache may be caused by having an infection, cavities, or other health issues. Drug stores carry a variety of non-prescription pain relief items for toothaches, including several Orajel products. You should contact a dentist, especially if the toothache is very painful, persists for over 36 hours, or is accompanied by additional health problems.

Remembering to apply these tips on how to care for your teeth should help reduce dental care costs, decrease discomfort in your mouth, and make your next visit to the dentist less problematic.