Tooth decay and gum disease are both extremely common oral health problems. In fact, gum disease is one of the most common diseases in the US and is the most common cause of tooth loss in adults. Fortunately, while these are potentially serious problems, they are preventable ones. There are many things you can do at home to keep your teeth and gums healthy, vastly reducing your risk of gum disease and tooth decay.
1. Daily brushing and flossing
Brushing and flossing are number one on the list for a good reason: they’re the most beneficial thing you can do for the health of your teeth and gums. Brush twice a day and floss at least once a day to ensure plaque buildup is well managed on a routine basis.
2. Use an antiseptic mouthwash
A good way to supplement your daily brushing and flossing is with the use of an antiseptic mouthwash. Using an antiseptic product helps reduce the growth of oral bacteria as well as reduce the rate at which plaque builds up on your teeth.
3. Reduce dietary sugar
In terms of diet, sugar is one of the main culprits that contribute to tooth decay and gum disease. Bacteria that feed on sugar deposit sticky, acidic plaque on the teeth, where it starts to break down tooth enamel. If plaque isn’t removed via brushing, it hardens into tartar, which is very difficult to remove.
Combat plaque and tartar by avoiding sugary foods. When you do eat foods that are high in sugar, brush right afterward to limit their effect on your teeth.
4. Add crisp, crunchy veggies
Maintaining a diet that includes plenty of high-fiber fruits and vegetables is great for your body, and it’s good for your oral health too. Crisp raw produce, such as carrots and celery help because biting and chewing these crunchy foods helps clear plaque from the teeth.
5. Avoid habits that are bad for oral health
Smoking stains your teeth and affects the health of your gums, increasing your risk of severe gum disease. And chewing ice may seem like a harmless habit, but it can result in teeth fracturing and breaking.
Finally, be sure to use your teeth for eating food only. Don’t use your teeth as tools, for instance, to tear open packets or break threads.
Supplementing At-Home Care with Dental VisitsThe best way to think of at-home oral care is as your first line of defense against tooth decay and gum disease. With good and consistent dental hygiene, your risk of oral health problems is greatly reduced. However, professional care from your dentist is important too, so be sure to see your dentist regularly for cleaning and checkups.