Secrets of a Healthy Smile

Aug 16th, 2012 | By | Category: More dental news, Preventive Dentistry

Healthy SmileA lifetime of bad habits will lead to a mouth full of problems. Everything from cavities to stained teeth can be prevented with a good oral care regimen. It may take some practice and reinforcement on your part, but once you establish good habits, you can prevent most oral health problems. If you want a smile that looks and feels great, follow these recommendations:

  • Brush at least twice a day. You should brush your teeth with a soft-bristled toothbrush in the morning and before bedtime. Hold your toothbrush at a 45-degree angle and use gentle, circular strokes to clean all surfaces of the teeth, paying special attention to the gum line and your back teeth.
  • Floss at least twice a day. Before brushing, gently slide the floss between the teeth, making sure to cover the entire length of the tooth with a zig-zag motion starting with the gum line.  
  • Use an alcohol-free mouth rinse. Mouthwashes containing alcohol can cause irritation and dry out your mouth, which increases oral bacteria.
  • Buy a new toothbrush at least every three months. If you do not rinse your toothbrush completely after each use and then put it in a drawer or medicine cabinet, that warm, enclosed space will encourage bacteria growth on the bristles. To stop re-introducing new bacteria into your mouth each time you brush, rinse your toothbrush with hot water after each use and replace it frequently.
  • Scrape your tongue daily. Bacteria on the tongue cause bad breath, and brushing the tongue is not always effective at removing it. Use a tongue scraper every morning to remove tongue plaque. If you do not have a tongue scraper handy, an inverted plastic spoon works well in a pinch.
  • Avoid sugar and acidic substances. Sugar and acidic substances can erode your tooth enamel, allowing bacteria to creep in. If bacteria calcify into tartar, periodontal pockets can form, leading to gum disease. Acidic drinks, such as wine, coffee, and carbonated beverages, can also lead to stained teeth and cavities.
  • Eat a healthy diet. A balanced diet that is rich in lean proteins, whole grain carbs, dairy, fruits, and vegetables provides all the nutrients your body needs to stay healthy. A healthy mouth starts with a healthy immune system.
  • See Dr. Moiceanu for regular checkups and cleanings. Professional cleanings make your teeth look and feel great, and they also allow Dr. Moiceanu to monitor any changes in your oral health. Early detection and treatment of problems can prevent major dental issues further down the road.

If it’s time for your next checkup, or if you need help repairing the damage of bad dental habits, Dr. Moiceanu can help. Call (510) 758-7222 to schedule an appointment today. At Hilltop Family Dental, we serve patients in Richmond, San Pablo, El Sobrante, Vallejo, Pinole, El Cerrito, Hercules, Benicia, and the surrounding areas.

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