How Can You Keep Your Teeth and Gums Healthy At Home?

How Can You Keep Your Teeth and Gums Healthy At Home?

Posted by ProCare Dental Apr 28, 2023

While your teeth and gums are protected by a strong outer layer of enamel, it’s still possible for cavities to form over time if you don’t practice proper oral hygiene habits every day. These simple at-home practices can keep your smile healthy and happy!

Brushing and Flossing Regularly

Brush your teeth at least twice daily. Oral bacteria feed on food particles left behind in plaque and can accumulate on your teeth throughout the day. If left to linger for too long, these acids can cause tooth decay and even gum disease. Be sure to brush all surfaces of your teeth, including the tops, fronts, backs, and chewing sides. Be gentle and use a toothbrush with a soft-bristled head to prevent eroding your tooth enamel. Replace your toothbrush every three to four months or sooner if the bristles become frayed.

Flossing is also important for removing accumulated plaque between teeth and along the gum line that your toothbrush can’t reach. Use an ADA-accepted floss product to clean between each tooth using a sawing motion. Repeat this process for every tooth, and be sure to clean the hard-to-reach areas between your molars as well.

Eating a Healthy Diet

Maintaining good oral health at home isn’t difficult if you’re already eating a healthy, balanced diet. However, there are certain foods and drinks that can damage your teeth or increase your risk of developing gum disease. Here are some foods and beverages to be mindful of:

  • Sugary foods or drinks. These include candy, cookies, cake, ice cream, soda, fruit juice, and sports/energy drinks.
  • Acidic foods or drinks. Citrus fruits, including oranges, lemons, limes, and grapefruits, are high in acidity and can erode your tooth enamel over time when you sip them throughout the day. Other acidic foods include pickles, tomatoes, and coffee.
  • Hard candies. Chewing on these can cause the breakage of a tooth or filling. They can also get stuck in between the teeth and cause tooth decay. 
  • Foods that stick to teeth. Sticky foods like caramel, peanut butter, gummy candy, and hard cheese can get stuck between your teeth and cause decay.
  • Dried fruit. This is considered to be a high-sugar food that can increase the risk for cavities.
  • Alcohol. Drinking alcohol can increase your risk of dry mouth and increase plaque buildup around your gums, leading to gum disease.

Avoiding tobacco

Tobacco products contain chemicals that can harm your teeth and gums, increase your risk of oral cancer, and cause bad breath. If you smoke cigarettes or use other tobacco products like chewing tobacco or cigars, ask your dentist for information and advice on how to quit. You may also want to make an appointment for a checkup and cleaning if you are concerned about how smoking is affecting your oral health.

See Your Dentist Regularly

It is a good idea to have a comprehensive oral exam once every six months, so talk to your dentist if you think you may be due for your next checkup and cleaning. At these appointments, your dentist will check for any oral health issues and treat any problems right away before they have the chance to develop further and become more difficult to treat. If it has been more than six months since your last appointment, contact your dentist to schedule an appointment today.

Visit ProCare Dental at 1377 E 3900 S #202, Salt Lake City 84124, or call (801) 278-2817 for the best dental care.

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