There are lots of things you can do to keep your teeth and gums at their best, including brushing and flossing daily, eating the right foods, quitting smoking, and working with your dentist to get the treatments you need.
Brush and floss daily
Everybody is aware of the importance of brushing your teeth twice a day. But few of us actually do it. Brushing not only helps avoid the formation of plaque, but it also protects the gums from disease as well.Make sure to use fluoride toothpaste to protect your teeth from tooth decay. And don’t brush too hard. You can actually damage the enamel if you use too much pressure. Don’t forget to floss at least once a day as well. It doesn’t matter when you floss – in the morning, after a meal, or before bed – just do it!
Eat foods that are good for your teeth and gums
Good oral health is strongly connected to what you eat. Foods and drinks with high acid or sugar content, such as sweets or sodas, should be avoided, as they can cause tooth decay and erode enamel.
On the other hand, there are also foods that can help strengthen teeth and gums. For stronger teeth, make sure to eat foods high in:
- Calcium – cheese, milk and yogurt. Dairy products are high in calcium, which plays a major role in making your teeth strong.
- Vitamin D– egg yolks, fatty fish like salmon, tuna and mackerel, and fortified milk. Vitamin D strengthens teeth by helping your body absorb calcium.
- Vitamin A – carrots, spinach, sweet potatoes, bell peppers. Vitamin A is good for building your teeth and bones.
It’s also good to eat foods high in vitamin C, such as citrus fruits, strawberries and broccoli. Strong teeth need healthy gums to anchor to and vitamin C is important to keep your connective tissues – such as your gums – healthy. Fruits such as cranberries, limes and kiwis also improve the dental health by fighting bacteria in the mouth.
Smoking is strongly related to gum disease. If you smoke you’re twice as likely to get gum disease than a non-smoker. And the longer you smoke the greater your chances of developing gum disease – so stop now!
Make regular visits to your dentist
Get regular cleanings from a dental hygienist. It’s the only way to remove tartar from your teeth. During your visit we can also spot early signs of gum disease and treat it before it becomes more serious.
There are additional treatments we can do to help protect your teeth and gums as well. One of these are sealants. Dental sealants are a thin coating painted on the teeth to help prevent the build up of plaque, tartar and bacteria.Sealants are a painless, inexpensive way to protect those hard to reach back teeth for up to ten years.
If you already have symptoms of gum disease there are things we can do to stop its progression and strengthen your gums, such as scaling and root planing. This procedure may also be called deep cleaning. When bacteria, plaque and tartar form around the tooth, gum disease can develop and cause gaps between the teeth and gums. If the gaps are large enough we will likely recommend scaling and root planing to treat your condition. The procedure begins with cleaning (scaling) all of the plaque, bacteria and tartar from your teeth, including the roots. Next, we smooth the rough areas of your tooth’s root to help keep plaque, bacteria and tartar from reattaching under the gumline. This allows your gums to heal and attach themselves more firmly to your teeth.