Having good dental health boils down to basic, common sense choices we can make every day. There are a number of lifestyle habits that will support good dental care and a lifetime of beautiful smiles. Consider these five key tips and habits so that you can enjoy excellent oral health for years to come:
1. Positive Eating and Drinking Habits
What you eat and drink naturally impacts your teeth. All foods and drinks create acids that can lead to bacteria, tartar buildup, wear on the teeth, plaque and other more serious dental issues. Avoiding chewy, sugary foods as well as sweet, sugar-filled drinks can make a big difference. Gravitating toward foods like crunchy vegetables can have a positive, cleansing effect on teeth. Food rich in omega 3s, calcium and vitamin C can also support tooth and gum health.
2. Daily Brushing and Flossing
The best lifestyle habit for oral health is regular brushing and flossing. Flossing should be done a minimum of once a day before brushing in the evening. Tooth brushing should take place at minimum after breakfast and also at night right before bedtime; however, brushing after every meal is ideal. Soft-bristled toothbrushes are best for cleansing the teeth, as they are not too hard on the gums.
3. No Smoking
Cigarette smoking is far less common than it once was, but it still goes on in some circles and communities. Smoking remains one of the worst things you can do for your health, and it impacts oral health as well. Smoking can make the teeth more brittle in addition to causing staining and yellowing over time. Quitting smoking (or never starting) is one of the best things you can do for your oral and overall health.
4. Reduce Stress
Stress is huge factor in immune system health, but it can also lead to and exacerbate oral issues like gum disease and tooth-grinding. Taking steps to manage and reduce stress daily can make a big difference. Find a balance in your work life; take breaks, vacations and time off when needed. Get adequate sleep, eat well and stay hydrated. Get out in nature when you can, exercise, and consider taking up meditation, yoga or tai chi.
5. Regular Dental Checkups
Lastly, don't forget to schedule regular dental exams, cleanings and x-rays to support the larger picture of your oral health.
Dental health requires key steps taken consistently for long-term success. Use these five lifestyle tips to create a solid foundation for oral health that lasts a lifetime.