how to build better oral health at home

July 24th, 2020

oral health

Because of the coronavirus, more people than ever before are staying at home. Many people are also taking this time to evaluate their health and start a more nutritious diet or work out more often. One aspect that a lot of people fail to consider is their dental health. What better time to work on your oral health habits than when you’re under quarantine at home? Here are a few tips you can implement into your daily life to keep your teeth and gums healthy until your dentist starts accepting patients for cleanings again.



DON'T BRUSH TOO AGGRESSIVELY

Most people know that they should brush their teeth twice a day for two minutes at a time. What a lot of people aren’t aware of, though, is that they might be applying too much pressure when they brush. Brushing too hard or using a hard-bristled brush can irritate your gums and wear down your enamel, or the outermost layer of your teeth. Both of these issues can lead to painful sensitivity. Use only the lightest of pressure when brushing, and select a brush with soft bristles.


GET THE CORRECT AMOUNT OF FLUORIDE

Fluoride is a mineral that occurs naturally in most water sources. It also has been proven to strengthen your enamel, making you more resistant to tooth decay. Even if you brush and floss every day, you still might get cavities if you’re not exposed to enough fluoride. The next time you get groceries, pick a toothpaste fortified with fluoride. Also, drink tap water, since it contains fluoride, while bottled water typically doesn’t.



RINSE WITH MOUTHWASH

Brushing and flossing only cleans a portion of your mouth. There are plenty of hard-to-reach areas where bacteria can accumulate if you don’t use mouthwash. Make sure to select one that’s alcohol-free. Alcohol dries out the mouth, which actually increases the chance that you’ll get cavities or gum disease. Additionally, pick a mouthwash that contains fluoride for an extra boost of protection against tooth decay.




QUIT SMOKING

Research has shown that people who smoke (or chew tobacco) are more than twice as likely as nonsmokers to develop gum disease. This is because tobacco use impairs your immune system, making it harder to fight off infections. Not to mention, smoking turns your teeth yellow and gives you seriously bad breath. You’re much better off quitting.





LIMIT SUGARY FOODS AND DRINKS

When you eat or drink something sugary, bacteria in your mouth feed on those sugar particles and leave behind a destructive waste product that erodes your enamel. This is actually what causes cavities. However, if you abstain from these sugary items, the bacteria have nothing to feast upon, severely limiting the number of cavities you’ll develop.

Being stuck at home gives you ample time to focus on your oral health habits. Follow the advice in this post and your teeth and gums should remain healthy until your dentist reopens their practice for checkups and cleanings.




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