Top Tips for Oral Health: Expert Advice from Your Dentist
For most of us, we could probably do a little better at taking care of our teeth. Taking better care of our teeth and gums won’t just give us brighter smiles, it will support the health of our entire bodies. Here are a few tips from your trusted family dentist in Austin, TX that make oral health a little easier than you may think.
Your Austin Dentist Recommends You Brush Daily – but Also Brush Smarter
We’re all familiar with the importance of daily oral hygiene including brushing and flossing. Many dentists recommend not only brushing in the morning and before bed, but also after meals. While brushing and flossing twice daily is still the recommended minimum, brushing smarter can help to save you cavities down the road. What does this mean? It means to think about the foods you eat and how cavities form, then brush accordingly throughout the day.
When we eat foods – especially sugary foods – a sugar residue remains on our teeth. This sugar is perfect fuel for cavity-causing bacteria. If you’re pressed for time throughout the day, it makes more sense to brush right after that pick-me-up candy bar, that sugary latte, or that piece of fruit than it does after a glass of water (or worse, right before the sugary food or drink).
At a minimum, following a sugary snack or drink, rinsing your mouth with water or mouthwash can help stave off the development of cavities. Try keeping a travel dental kit including a toothbrush, toothpaste, and a bottle of mouthwash at your desk or in the car for convenient oral cleaning throughout the day.
Learn about Tooth-Friendly Vitamins
We’re used to taking vitamins targeted to certain parts of our body or certain needs, and teeth should be no exception. Over the past decade, researchers have emphasized that both vitamin D and calcium are just as important for teeth as they are for our overall bone health. In fact, supplementing these vitamins can decrease your likelihood of dental loss by 40 percent.
Additional vitamins that are important to support healthy teeth include vitamin D, vitamin A, and vitamin B12, among others. It’s also important to remember that vitamins, nourishment, and oral health are somewhat cyclical. If you have poor oral health, you’re less likely to eat, leading to poor nutrition, which only puts your teeth and gums further at risk. Avoid this cycle before it starts by getting proper vitamin supplementation to support your oral and overall health.
Discover Foods that Improve Your Teeth
Did you know that certain foods are great for your teeth? Naturally, foods rich in the vitamins mentioned above will support good oral health, but there are foods that are good for your teeth and gums in other ways, too.
- Foods that support saliva production
Saliva is one of the body’s first lines of defense against cavities. Saliva protects teeth against cavities, cleans teeth, and contains antibacterial properties poised to fight cavity-causing bacteria. Promote saliva with things like lemons and limes, sugar-free xylitol gum, or tart fruits such as cranberries. Rinse and brush after these foods, though!
- Foods that mechanically clean your teeth
Other foods contain similar properties as saliva or even mechanically clean your teeth. Onions, raw carrots, and celery are great for your teeth and gums, and of course, so is drinking plenty of water.
Visit your Austin Dentist Regularly
The definition or regularly is different for every person depending on their dental needs, but it’s recommended that you have your teeth cleaned at least every six months. Not only does this reduce the likelihood for cavities to grow, but it also helps your dentist catch problems early on that could lead to bigger (and more expensive) issues down the line.
Despite popular belief, it doesn’t have to be extremely expensive or time-consuming to take great care of your teeth. Working with your family or general dentist in Austin, you can learn tips and develop an easy plan to improve your oral health. At South Austin Dental Studio, we’ve earned the trust of our community and neighborhood over 30 years, and always strive to help our patients achieve their best oral health possible.