What’s the first thing you remember about a person when you meet them for the first time? Most likely, it’s their smile. Because many people know that a smile is an essential part of their appearance, they seek cosmetic treatments like teeth whitening to transform their smiles. The truth is that a healthy smile is more than just whitening. You can even try orthodontic treatment, veneers, and crowns to rejuvenate your smile, but the foundation of a healthy smile lies in your oral hygiene care.
At Huntington Dental Excellence in South Pasadena, California, we usually say that achieving optimal oral health is a combination of what you do at home and what we do in our dental practice. We clean your teeth professionally to ensure stubborn tartar doesn’t bother you. At home, here are steps you can take to maintain a healthy smile:
- Brushing: Are you doing it right? Brush your teeth twice a day for at least 2 minutes. Brush the top, bottom, and inside of your mouth to ensure thorough cleaning. Don’t forget your tongue, too. As a bonus, consider electric toothbrushes – they are faster and more effective than manual toothbrushes.
- Flossing: Research shows that brushing removes 50% of the bacteria! Shocking, we know. So what? Flossing is the other dental tool you need to complete your at-home oral care.
- Avoid bad habits: Do you want a healthy smile? Avoid tobacco use. Smoking and tobacco chewing encourages plaque buildup, putting you at risk of gum disease and bad breath. Also, avoid biting hard substances to deter dental damage. Plus, if you grind your teeth at night, consider a custom-made nightguard to protect your teeth.
- Consider a mouth rinse: A mouthwash containing antibacterial ingredients eliminates harmful bacteria effectively. However, a mouthwash shouldn’t be a substitute for brushing and flossing, but it can complement your at-home oral care practices.
- Proper nutrition: Keep your mouth hydrated. Limit sugary foods. Consider calcium, phosphorus, antioxidants, and vitamins A, B, C, and D to keep your teeth and gums healthy.