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Simple Steps to Help Prevent Tooth Decay


Keeping your teeth sparkly and clean isn’t as simple as brushing daily. To truly take care of your smile, you should follow these easy steps to ensure your teeth and gums are healthy for years to come.

Routine brushing and toothpaste

According to the American Dental Association, you should brush your teeth twice daily with a soft-bristled brush. The size and shape of the brush depends on the size of your mouth; you should be able to comfortably reach all teeth when using your brush. Not only will you need to get the right brush, but you will also need to replace it every three or four months — or even earlier if you notice that the bristles are starting to fray. Set a reminder on your phone or calendar when you get a new brush to replace it!

Many fluoride toothpastes are considered to be ADA-approved, including top brands like Colgate and Crest. But if you want a more natural approach or would like to support smaller businesses, take a look at the list of ADA-endorsed toothpaste options.

Finally, it’s all about the approach. The ADA says the proper way to brush your teeth is to put the brush at a 45-degree angle to your gums. Move the brush back and forth in short motions and be sure to get the outer, inner and chewing surfaces of each tooth. Ultimately, you want to spend at least two minutes brushing your teeth on each occasion.

Avoid certain foods

You hear it in toothpaste commercials all the time: Certain foods can stain your teeth, but most especially liquids. The top offenders are tea and coffee, red wine and soda pop. But you may not think of other darker liquids such as grape juice, tomato-based sauces, curry, balsamic vinegar and soy sauce. Obviously, you can’t always avoid these items — especially if one of them is your favorite — but making sure to brush not long after consuming them will help you manage any staining.

Don’t forget to floss

Your toothbrush, even that fancy electric one, can’t get everything that’s sitting between your teeth. When you leave food in the tiny crevices of your mouth for extended periods, you’re basically letting bacteria sit and grow in a warm, wet environment. Gross, right? Your dentist knows you don’t floss daily, but if you can try to do it at least 3-4 times per week, you’re on the right track. You want to be sure you’re not just moving the floss in an up-and-down motion, but rather moving it around the curve of each tooth to be able to reach everything.

Regular cleanings

While we’d all like to believe we can get our teeth and gums as clean as possible all on our own, that’s unfortunately not true. That’s why it’s vital that you visit a dentist every six months. Dentists have special tools that we don’t have at home that can really get the gunk off. Not to mention, a dentist is trained to spot any potential cavities, root damage or gum issues and can perform x-rays to ensure everything is looking good for your pearly whites.

Keeping your teeth and gums healthy and clean will lead to a healthier life. You can help prevent issues like halitosis, gum disease and tooth loss just by brushing and flossing daily as well as regularly going to the dentist.

This article is presented by O'Brien Lexus of Peoria.
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