Thanksgiving is that wonderful time of year when friends and relatives gather together around the dinner table to feast, appreciate each other, and call to mind all the things they have to be grateful for. While there will certainly be many toasts to continued health around the table this year, there is a crucial part of everyone’s overall health that can sometimes go unappreciated. Here are a few ways you can show your teeth how grateful you are to have them.
Brushing your teeth is the crucial foundation of an excellent oral hygiene routine because it can eliminate most of the plaque and food debris from your teeth. Use a soft-bristled toothbrush and fluoride toothpaste to brush your teeth with short, gentle, circular strokes. Each brushing session should last for about two minutes. This will have your teeth feeling great and help freshen your breath.
Flossing is not an optional part of oral hygiene. Since it can clean away plaque and food debris in the spaces between your teeth where a toothbrush cannot reach, it is every bit as essential to your dental care as brushing. Cut off a length of floss and slide it between a pair of teeth. Run the floss up and down and from side to side against either tooth. Repeat this process for every pair of teeth in your mouth. This should be done at least once a day, but it’s best to do it before bed so your teeth can be clean for the whole night.
Rinse with Antibacterial Mouthwash
Antibacterial mouthwash is recommended by dentists as a part of your daily oral hygiene regimen because rinsing with it will kill more than 99% of the germs that cause oral infections like tooth decay and gum disease. Pour yourself a mouthful, swish it around your mouth for thirty seconds to a minute, and spit it out into the sink. This will leave your mouth feeling clean and your breath smelling fresh and minty.
Be Mindful of Your Sugar Intake
Sugar is the food that fuels harmful oral bacteria, and consuming candies, sodas, and other sugary items coats your mouth with this sweet stuff. This allows these bacteria to feed on it, multiply, and excrete acid that will wear away your enamel and cause cavities. In addition to practicing proper oral hygiene, the best way to keep bacteria from eating your teeth alive is to keep them starved of sugar. By consuming sugary items sparingly, you can deprive these germs of the food they need to wreak oral havoc.
In addition to all of these everyday habits, you can show your teeth that you really love them by seeing your dentist regularly. This will allow your dental professional to advise you on better hygiene and address any issues in their early stages. If you take proper care of your teeth, they will serve you well for the rest of your life.
About the Author
Dr. Peter A. Pate earned his Doctor of Dental Surgery from the University of Tennessee School of Dentistry in 1982 and has served as a general dentist ever since. He is an active member of the American Dental Association, the Academy of General Dentistry, the Georgia Dental Association, and the Northern District Dental Society. His office in Atlanta, GA offers preventive, restorative, cosmetic, and emergency dentistry. To schedule an appointment, contact his office online or dial (404) 266-9424.