What you can do to improve your dental health.

Healthy teeth and a beautiful smile are not attained overnight. It takes time and work and effort – and above all, discipline.  The good news is that improving dental health is actually quite easy, and the maintenance is just a matter of commitment and routine. In the short term, maintaining good dental health will most definitely pave the way for long-term health. And while a Top 10 list may not be required, it’s definitely a good idea to follow some of the basics.

It’s good to floss every day

Many dentists agree that dental health begins with flossing. Daily flossing serves to remove plaque between the teeth and under the gum line. Flossing is particularly important in areas where the toothbrush can’t reach – it prevents both tooth decay and gingivitis (inflammation of the gums). Without flossing, plaque and tartar are allowed to accumulate, and dental health is compromised.

Dentist visits twice yearly

Maintaining dental health relies on regular and routine cleaning at the dentist’s office. These types of cleaning procedures are very comprehensive, and much more than one can accomplish at home. Without regular cleanings, it’s much easier for gingivitis to develop, and for periodontal disease to follow. Lack of deep cleaning, as well as poor dental health can also influence other conditions.

Giving up the smoking habit

Beyond a host of deteriorating health effects, smoking causes teeth to stain, and sometimes stains are deep inside the enamel. Smoking has also been shown to inhibit dental health by letting the gums recede.  The simple solution, for both general health and dental health, is to stop smoking altogether. Research also shows that smoking makes it more difficult to reverse gum disease.

Less coffee, tea and red wine

It’s known that coffee, tea and red wine cause the teeth to stain. These stains can potentially cause staining in the tooth enamel – not a sign of good dental health. Frequent rinsing of the mouth with water might be helpful, but dental health relies on keeping the mouth genuinely clean. Here again, a regular dentist visit is recommended, where deep cleaning provides better results than at home.

Be careful with whitening

While there are an abundance of teeth whitening products and procedures on the market, its best to have the dentist oversee any dental health treatment (even if its over-the-counter). For the most part, whitening agents deliver short-term results that often have to be repeated. But at the dentist’s office there are procedures and treatments that last longer and are more comprehensive.

A quality toothbrush is best

Like everything else, we get what we pay for. By example, a top-of-the-line electric toothbrush will remove more plaque than a manual toothbrush. And today, there are brush features for sensitive teeth, for mild brushing, or for deep cleaning. In the end, it’s about taking personal responsibility, with daily, regular and ongoing personal attention (not to mention visits to the dentist).

Importantly, dental health should not be reactive – make sure to have a good dentist who is fully acquainted with your specific dental condition, so that care can be preventive and proactive.