What’s more important than a bright, white smile? A healthy smile warms you up and makes others around you smile as well. But what if you are embarrassed by your teeth? If you are, then it is likely that you rarely smile, if at all. And that is a sad situation.

One thing more important than your smile is the overall health of your teeth. If you are ashamed to smile, it is likely that you suffer the ill effects of an unhealthy mouth. Poor oral health can lead to pain and mouth infections. Oral health is also directly tied to your overall health. Did you know that gum disease is linked to heart disease and strokes?

The truth of the matter is you need to take proper care of your teeth, even if you aren’t self-conscious of your smile. Taking good care of your teeth will help you live a long, healthy and pain-free life. After all, nobody wants to suffer through a painful cavity or gum disease. It is critical that you develop an excellent dental care routine early in life and follow through with it as you get older.

Good oral hygiene is more than just brushing your teeth once or twice a day and visiting James W. Mellert at your Torrance dental clinic. Healthy teeth are the result of a healthy diet, good habits and professional care when the need arises. Here are ways in which you need to care for your teeth.

Proper Brushing

One of the most basic and easiest ways to keep your teeth cleaned is by brushing them at least twice a day. When you brush, you should do so for at least two minutes. This will give you the necessary time to get the surface of all of your teeth. Don’t forget to brush the backs of your teeth as well.

For the best results, use a toothbrush with soft bristles or an electric toothbrush. No matter which type of toothbrush you choose, make sure you swap it out every three months. Don’t brush your teeth right after eating as your mouth is more acidic, which makes the enamel on your teeth temporarily softer.

Use a fluoride toothpaste as it protects enamel and makes it less likely you will get cavities.

Floss Daily

Flossing is the most effective way to clean the surface that is between your teeth. These are areas that you have difficulty reaching with your toothbrush. If you have trouble using traditional floss, try using a floss pick. Be gentle when going below the gum line and if you are new to flossing, your gums might bleed for the first few days, but this will stop in time.

Use Mouthwash

Find a mouthwash that has fluoride in it and use it once a day. Swish the mouthwash around in your mouth for two minutes or so to ensure it coats all of your teeth. Many types of mouthwash also contain protective substances that help fight against bacteria. Just make sure you don’t swallow the mouthwash.

Brush Your Tongue

The surface of your tongue is rough and uneven, making it a great place for food particles and bacteria to hide. These food particles and bacteria don’t stay on the tongue and they will eventually wind up in your teeth, which could cause of cavities and other oral issues. For this reason, you need to either brush your tongue when you brush your teeth or utilize a tongue scraper. There are even toothbrushes that have a rubber patch on the back that can be used to scrape your tongue. Be careful when scraping your tongue as you don’t want to hurt yourself.

Don’t Use Tobacco Products

Tobacco products will give you bad breath, stain your teeth and make it more likely to get gum disease and mouth cancer.

Healthy Diet

We all probably know that certain foods are better for your teeth than others. For example, it is far better for your teeth to eat an apple rather than sticky candy. In fact, the act of eating an apple or other fruits and vegetables actually keep your teeth clean while eating sticky candy sticks to your teeth and causes decay.

The same holds true with the liquids you drink. Water is always best as it rinses away food particles and bacteria that cause decay. You will definitely want to stay away from soda and other sugary beverages.

See Your Dentist on a Regular Basis

One of the easiest and most effective ways to take good care of your teeth is by seeing your dentist on a regular basis. Professional cleanings remove tartar, which cannot be eliminated by a toothbrush alone. Regular checkups also help identify small problems that can be dealt with before they turn into big, painful problems.

If you need to see the dentist, call James W. Mellert and schedule an appointment today.