Our smiles are something that we wear every day of our lives and whether they shine or not is determined by our oral hygiene practices. A healthy smile lends us more confidence while also contributing to our overall health. Here are some helpful tooth care tips for both children and adults from your Utah pediatric dentists at Timp dental.
1. Lighten the Pressure
Hard brushing does not make for more effective brushing. A soft-bristle brush and a little pressure will do just fine. It may even help to hold the end of the brush with your pointer finger, middle finger and thumb to reduce intensity. If you are seeing pink in the sink, you are brushing too hard.
2. Don’t Forget the Gums and Tongue
Make sure to graze the gums lightly with each small, circular brushing motion. Your gums harbor large amounts of bacteria and can be a breeding ground for plaque and tartar. Likewise, your tongue needs to be brushed to maintain proper oral health. A primary contributing factor to bad breath is bacteria that reside on the tongue.
3. Two Minutes, Twice a Day
If teeth are not brushed regularly and thoroughly, plaque will buildup and become very hard to remove. Plaque and tartar begin to harden 24 to 48 hours after introduction to saliva. For this reason, brushing once a day is not sufficient for optimal health. At least twice a day for a concentrated two minutes is highly recommended.
4. Fluoride Is a Friend
Flouride, hailing from the common element fluorine, found naturally in rocks, soil and water is a very helpful substance for tooth health. Fluoride can strengthen teeth, preventing tooth decay and other effects of common wear. When you purchase toothpaste, make sure fluoride is on the active ingredient list.
5. Limit Certain Foods and Beverages
It is no secret that sugar can contribute to tooth decay. But drinks such as coffee and soft drinks contain acids that can cause equal harm. This is also true with citrus and wine. For more information on how sugar, in particular, affects the teeth, check out this article.
6. Smoke and Tabacco Hurt Teeth
Those who smoke are three to six times more likely to develop gum disease than those who don’t smoke. Even smokeless tobacco contains products that irritate tissue and cause the gums to loosen around teeth. This opens the door for tobacco to invade, causing tooth decay and tooth loss.
7. Avoid Grinding
Bruxism or tooth grinding is a very common condition that can cause significant tooth wear. It is most common in children but affects a good portion of adults as well. Because bruxism usually manifests during sleep, it is important to recognize the signs before teeth become damaged. For more information on bruxism, check out this page.
8. Rinse With Water After Eating
The combination of food, saliva and time is what causes plaque buildup. Because of this, rinsing food from your teeth after a meal can go a long way in reducing plaque and tartar over time. It is recommended to rinse gently with water after eating— a simple practice that will make your mouth very happy.
9. Of Course, Floss Regularly
Any specialist in Utah pediatric dentistry will leave both you and your child with this fundamental tip. Floss, floss, floss. The spaces between your teeth are areas that cant often be reached with a toothbrush and are common places for cavities to form. Regular flossing practices keep your teeth clean and healthy.
10. Visit Your Utah Pediatric Dentist for Routine Cleanings
An important part of tooth care involves a visit to the dental office at least twice a year. If you are looking for a quality pediatric dentist in Utah, you can turn to Timp Dental. We specialize in smiles and know just how to brighten them. For more information on tooth care, or to schedule an appointment, contact us today!