Brushing your teeth and having a great local dentist in Winnipeg is just part of protecting your oral health.
Once your permanent teeth arrive, that’s it – you only get one chance to protect and preserve the teeth you have for the long run! Protecting against tooth decay is crucial in preventing expensive fixes and potential tooth loss down the road, and your oral health is also critical to your overall health. All of this means that oral hygiene plays a major role in your long-term health and comfort.
Here’s a checklist for good oral hygiene, to make sure you and your teeth have a long and happy future together.
- Brush and floss!
This is the most obvious step in dental care, but that doesn’t take away from how important it is to brush and floss your teeth. Brushing and flossing remove food debris and plaque from your teeth and the spaces around your teeth. If not removed, plaque hardens into tartar, eventually leading to tooth decay and periodontal disease. Brush your teeth for two minutes twice each day, and floss at least once per day.
If you need a little helping with your brushing and flossing routine, don’t worry – we’ve got you covered! Check out our Complete Guide to Toothpastes and Tooth Brushing and our tips on how to get yourself flossing.
- Schedule regular dental check-ups.
In our busy lives, making time for a dental check-up can feel like one more thing added to an already jammed calendar, but the fact is that seeing your dentist and hygienist will end up saving you time – and money, discomfort, and frustration – later. Professional cleanings are the only way to remove all of the plaque from your teeth, and your dentist is looking for more than just tooth decay when examining your mouth.
See all of the reasons dental check-ups can’t be skipped, as well as how often you really need to go to the dentist, here.
- Include calcium and vitamin D in your diet.
Calcium is a big part of what makes up your teeth and jaw, making it crucial in your diet. Vitamin D helps your body to absorb calcium, and a deficiency can also cause a uncomfortable burning sensation or bad taste in your mouth.
Learn more about calcium and vitamin D, plus other vitamins and minerals that impact your oral health, here.
- Eat less sugary, starchy, and sticky foods.
Most of us know that too much sugar is bad for our teeth. Starch actually converts to sugar in your mouth, meaning it’s not just the sweets you eat that are the culprit! Sticky foods that cling to tooth surfaces can also cause issues. It’s important to limit these types of foods, and when you do eat them, to brush and floss soon after. Learn more about the effects of these foods on your oral health here.
- Avoid prolonged sipping on sugary drinks or lemon water, all-day snacking, or prolonged use of lozenges.
When you eat or drink something sugary, starchy, or sticky, the acidity in your mouth stays high for about 30 minutes, and it’s this acidity that is dangerous to your tooth enamel. After about 30 minutes, the saliva in your mouth has cleared out much of the sugar, and the activity of the plaque bacteria is greatly reduced. But if another sugar is introduced, the whole process restarts.
If you are constantly sipping or snacking, your saliva never has a chance to clear the acidity and your teeth are more susceptible to damage.
- Snack on foods that clean your teeth instead!
Cheese and crunchy fruits and vegetables like celery can actually clean your teeth while you eat! Chewing sugar-free gum can also help by increasing the flow of saliva in your mouth, and ingredients like xylitol and casein can even have positive effects on your dental health. Learn more about chewing gum here.
- Don’t smoke.
Smoking causes staining, bad breath, increased buildup of plaque and tartar, and an increased risk of oral cancer. Quitting can be daunting, but we’re here to help! Learn more about the effects of smoking – and the benefits of quitting – here.
If you have any questions about proper oral hygiene, diet and dental health, or how to quit smoking, come see us! Our experienced dentists and hygienists would love to help. Visit our contact page to book an appointment online or through text, phone, or email.