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3 Tips For Healthy Teeth And Gums

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Many people don't think about their oral health until something hurts. However, regular dental care is crucial for keeping your enamel strong. If you would like to know more, check out these three tips for healthy teeth and gums.

1. Visit Your Dentist Regularly

Most people should see the dentist at least twice a year for regular cleaning, exams, and occasional X-rays. During regular treatments, the dentist may:

  • Remove tartar without damaging enamel
  • Monitor gum health, including measuring gum pockets
  • Looks for signs of decay and/or weakening enamel
  • Flosses and polishes teeth

If you have poor gum health and/or lots of debris in the gum pockets, you may need deep cleaning or scaling and root planing. The dentist cleans debris from below the gum line (scaling) and then smooths the area (root planing).

If you have poor oral health or gum disease, you may want to see the dentist more often than twice a year. You may also want to see the dentist more often if:

  • You're pregnant
  • You smoke
  • You have diabetes
  • You have a weakened immune system

2. Brush and Floss Daily

Regular brushing and flossing is the best way to get rid of plaque before it hardens into tartar. Naturally, brushing and flossing also reduces your risk of cavities, gum disease, bad breath, infections, etc. Depending on your oral health, your dentist may recommend fluoride toothpaste.

When brushing, don't brush too hard as it can damage enamel and irritate gums. Similarly, don't brush right after consuming something acidic. Acids soften enamel, and if you brush the enamel while it's soft, you may remove small amounts.

3. Avoid Cavity-Causing Foods

You can reduce your risk of decay by better monitoring what you consume. Foods that are high in sugars (and simple carbohydrates) are ideal food for the bacteria that cause cavities. Acidic foods and beverages may weaken and damage enamel.

Besides cavity-causing foods, however, there are some other problematic foods/beverages, such as:

  • Tea/coffee/red wine: can stain teeth with tannins
  • Hard candies (even sugar-free): may chip or crack teeth
  • Ice: can chip teeth and cut/irritate gums

While not food, tobacco is also terrible for your teeth, causing stains and increasing your risk of gum disease.

Don't ignore your oral health. A few small cavities can quickly lead to tooth loss, but regular dental visits can help. If you would like to know more, contact a dentist in your area today.