General Health
10 Easy Ways to Improve Your Oral Health

10 Easy Ways to Improve Your Oral Health

Bad breath, crooked or discolored teeth, swollen gums, and other oral health issues can make you want to hide your mouth. You’re embarrassed by the way your teeth look or your almost daily struggle with bad breath that no breath mint seems to help.

Brushing your teeth every day doesn’t improve the problem. You want to do more, but are unsure of what you can do to fix these problems.

There are at-home remedies and dental procedures that can help you to stop hiding your mouth and show the world your smile. Here are 10 easy ways to improve your oral health.

Brushing Correctly to Improve Your Oral Health

This one may sound like a no-brainer. You know you need to brush your teeth every day, but did you know there is a right way and a wrong way to brush your teeth? Things like not brushing often enough, brushing too hard, or using the wrong toothbrush can cause damage to your teeth.

How to Correctly Brush Your Teeth

Dr. Lubeck, a dentist in Roanoke, VA states that brushing gently with a soft bristle toothbrush is the best way to brush your teeth. Hard bristles, or brushing your teeth too vigorously, can damage the enamel that protects the nerves and soft tissues inside your teeth.

They also recommend, according to the American Dental Association (ADA) guidelines, to brush your teeth at least twice a day, morning and night, using an ADA approved fluoride toothpaste. You should brush using a circular motion for at least 3 minutes, making sure to get all surfaces of your teeth. This will help dislodge any food particles in or between your teeth. Make sure you also brush your tongue or use a tongue scraper.

Flossing Your Way to Better Oral Health

You admit flossing is not your favorite part of taking care of your teeth. Even so, flossing is an important step in your at-home oral health routine. Flossing helps to rid food particles that get stuck between your teeth that brushing can’t remove. The good news is flossing is now easier than ever!

Types of Floss

There are now several different types of floss available. To make flossing a bit tastier, many string floss comes in flavors such as mint and cinnamon. A waxed string floss can slide easier between your teeth. Dental tape works if you have wide gaps between your teeth or bridgework. Easy one-use disposable flossers are a great way to take flossing on the go. Electric flossers can be effectively used at home.

Using Mouthwashes and Mouth Rinses to Step up Your Oral Health Routine

Including a mouthwash, also called a mouth rinse, to your twice-a-day oral hygiene practice is an easy way to help improve your oral health. The two main types of mouthwashes available are cosmetic and therapeutic. Cosmetic mouthwashes are used to temporarily cover up bad breath, or have whitening properties for your teeth. Therapeutic mouthwashes and ADA approved rinses, can help to reduce or control common oral health issues including plaque gingivitis and tooth decay.

Healthy Foods for Good Oral Health

Foods like fresh fruits and vegetables, whole grains, and dairy are good for your oral health. The calcium and proteins in dairy products such as milk and cheese help to strengthen your teeth and gums. Fresh fruits and vegetables including apples, carrots, and celery have a cleaning effect on your teeth, and loads of nutrients to help keep your whole mouth healthy.

Improve Your Oral Health by Drinking Plenty of Water

In addition to eating nutritious foods, water can improve the health of your mouth. Drinking water can dislodge food particles and other substances that can hide in the nooks and crannies in your mouth. Water containing fluoride can also help strengthen your teeth.

Sugars in drinks, including soda, can combine with bacteria in your mouth creating an acid that can eat away at your tooth enamel. This can cause cavities and gum disease. Replacing sugary drinks with water can eliminate this from happening.

Avoid Tobacco Products for Good Oral Health

Another step you can take to improve your oral health is to avoid tobacco products. You’ve certainly heard that smoking is bad for your overall health, and tobacco is also bad for your mouth. Tobacco products are known to give you bad breath and stain your teeth.  It can also cause more serious mouth issues including gum disease and oral cancers.

Woman covering her mouth Protect Your Oral Health with Mouth Guards During Sports

When you or your family members play sports, even just for fun, it’s best to wear a mouth guard. The right mouth guard protects your teeth from damage from a blow to the face, mouth or jaw. Stock mouth guards can be found at most sports retailers and department stores. These are generally one size fits most.

“Boil and bite” stock mouth guards are made of thermoplastic. After being placed in hot water they can be fitted around your teeth with gentle finger and tongue pressure.

Dr. May Yeap of Signature Dental in Richardson Texas explains the mouth guards that offer the best protection and comfort are ones that can be custom-made and fitted by your dentist.

Improving Your Overall Health to Improve Your Oral Health

The overall health of your body has an impact on the health of your mouth. Certain diseases such as heart disease, cancers, Immune disorders, and kidney disease can not only cause problems with your body but also your oral health. When you have a disease or disorder you’re body’s ability to heal itself is weakened. In your mouth, this can cause your teeth to loosen, weaken, and your gums to swell and become tender. Taking care of the main health issue can help to improve your oral health.

Take Care of Oral Health Issues Quickly

If your teeth do start to feel loose or your gums bleed easily, it’s important to have a dentist examine your mouth to determine what the source of the problem. The sooner you have a problem looked at by a dentist, the more likely the problem won’t turn into a more serious oral health issue.

Regular Dental Check-ups to Improve Your Oral Health

Two annual dental check-ups are a great way to help improve your oral health. During your visits, your dentist can examine your teeth and find any issues that may become more serious without intervention. Working with your specific issues, your dentist can offer you customized suggestions on easy ways you can improve your oral health.

Dr. Gary A. Roach

Dr. Roach attended Medical College of Virginia School of Dentistry. He has practiced in Roanoke since graduating dental school in 1994, helping to fulfill a lifelong dream of helping people and making a difference in their lives.

Dr. Gary A. Roach

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