Maintaining optimal oral health is not only necessary for having pearly white teeth and a charming smile, but it is equally important for your overall physical health and wellbeing. According to the American Dental Association, your oral health is directly linked to your physical wellbeing. If you want to live and enjoy a healthy and active lifestyle, it begins by keeping your mouth clean and healthy.
Oral healthcare becomes even more important when you are wearing removable appliances like dentures, retainers, or aligners. These appliances promote food impaction and bacterial growth that can cause a variety of dental issues. But the solution is simple; maintain your oral hygiene. Why invest your time and money visiting a oral surgeon for a problem that you can prevent in the first place? This article offers various tips that you can follow to take your oral health game to a new level.
- Master your Brushing and Flossing Skills
Brushing is one of the most effective oral hygiene measures to prevent dental problems. But what is more important is how effectively you do it to clean your teeth. The Oral Health Foundation recommends cleaning your teeth twice a day. Brushing your teeth properly will ensure that the food debris and plaque on your teeth are completely removed.
- Floss Daily
While brushing your teeth will clean the outer surfaces of the teeth, the bristles of a toothbrush are unable to penetrate the tight spaces between the teeth. These interdental spaces are potential plaque accumulation spots that can cause periodontal inflammation. That is why the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention recommends flossing between your teeth at least once every day. You may also use the newer water flossers or water picks that are more effective in ensuring optimal interdental cleaning.
- Choose the Right Armamentarium
Using the right type of toothbrush can help you achieve optimal oral hygiene. The American Dental Association recommends using a toothbrush containing soft bristles. If you use a hard-bristled toothbrush, it will irritate your gums, leading to root cavities, gum recession, and sensitivity. You should select your brush’s size to easily clean all the surfaces of your back teeth. Make sure to buy a toothbrush that carries the seal of acceptance of ADA.
Both powered and manual toothbrushes are effective at cleaning the teeth, says the ADA. You can use either a manual or powered toothbrush – depending on your personal preference. However, for the majority of individuals who do not have sufficient manual dexterity to clean their teeth properly with a manual brush, the ADA recommends using a powered toothbrush.
- Use a Fluoride-containing Toothpaste
The American Dental Association recommends using fluoride-containing toothpaste to clean your teeth and gums. Research has shown that fluoride makes our teeth much stronger and more resistant to teeth cavities.
- Tooth-friendly Diet
What you eat throughout the day directly affects your oral health status. Foods that are rich in processed sugars are food for cavity-causing bacteria which convert them into cavity causing acids. Adding fiber-containing foods into your diet like green vegetables and fruits and cutting down on carbohydrates and fizzy drinks will go a long way in keeping your teeth and gums healthy.
- Keep the Appliances Clean
Whether you wear removable dentures, orthodontic retainers, mouth guards, or aligners, keeping them clean is essential to prevent oral health problems. If not cleaned regularly, food starts to adhere to this appliance’s underlying surface – leading to bacterial growth – and ultimately, teeth cavities, periodontal issues, and even certain medical conditions.
Make sure you wash your appliances with lukewarm water after eating or drinking. You can also use commercial cleaning solutions that your dentist recommends. Whenever you remove your appliance, make sure to keep it in water or a cleaning solution. Removable mouth guards or retainers should not be washed in hot water as they get warped and may not fit anymore. Smilesaver™ Cleansing and Freshening Spray is an effective on the go cleanser for removable oral appliances. Due to its antimicrobial properties, this product eliminates 99.9% of bacteria in one minute, keeping oral appliances clean a very easy thing to do anytime, anywhere.
- Visit your Dentist Regularly
Despite your best efforts to keep your teeth clean, dental health problems can still develop. Nonetheless if you visit your dentist regularly, they will be able to diagnose and treat them in their early stages – so you won’t need expensive oral surgery treatments afterward.
When it comes to your oral and physical health, you can never be too careful. Healthy and sparkling teeth not only give us a beautiful and attractive smile, but they also allow us to eat and speak and maintain optimal overall physical health. You can also help achieve impeccable oral and physical health by following the tips mentioned in this article. After all, a healthy smile is a beautiful smile!
Dr. Mehmood Asghar is a dentist, an educationist, and a researcher in dental bio-materials. He is currently working as an Assistant Professor in Dental Bio-materials at the National University of Medical Sciences, Pakistan, in addition to pursuing a Ph.D. in Dental Bio-materials. His research interests include silver-based medicament for dental use, nano-particles, fiber-reinforced composites, dental polymers, and contemporary dental ceramics. Apart from his professional activities, Dr. Asghar loves reading, writing, and working out and we are happy to feature him this week on Soluria. He currently writes for Dr. Fadi Swaida’s dental practice, Bond St Dental.