Start the Year Right: Tips for Maintaining Your Oral Health

by | Jul 5, 2024 | Oral Health

tips for maintaining your oral health

Prioritising our health is crucial as we prepare for 2024 so that we can continue to smile for a long time. Maintaining healthy gums and teeth promotes general health and a gorgeous smile.

Here are some essential tips for maintaining your pearly whites starting the year.

Brush and Floss Daily

Brushing your teeth for two minutes at least twice a day, is the cornerstone of proper oral hygiene.

Here’s how to maximise your brushing routine:

  • Choose the Right Tools: Use a soft-bristled toothbrush to avoid damaging your enamel and gums. To strengthen your teeth and stave off cavities, use it in conjunction with fluoride toothpaste.
  • Proper Technique: Place your toothbrush head at a 45-degree to the gum line. Brush them softly in round motions on the teeth’ outer, inner, and biting surfaces. Remember to brush the tongue to clear bacteria and breathe well.
  • Floss Daily: Flossing removes debris that toothbrushes cannot reach between teeth and behind the gum line. Take approximately 18 inches of the dental floss, twirling most of it around the middle of your fingers while leaving one or two inches to manipulate. Place it between the teeth, making circular and side-to-side movements around each tooth.

Limit Sugary and Acidic Foods

Many factors affect teeth, but one of the most critical is diet. The excessive consumption of foods and beverages high in sugar and acidity results in tooth decay and erosion.

Here’s how to make healthier choices:

  • Cut Back on Sugar: Sugar-filled foods and beverages can cause plaque to build-up, resulting in cavities. Opt for natural sugars in fruits and limit your candy, soda, and sweetened beverages intake.
  • Avoid Acidic Foods: Citrus fruits, tomatoes, and beverages such as carbonated soft drinks cause tooth enamel to wear down. If you consume these, rinse your mouth with water to neutralise the acid.
  • Choose Nutrient-Rich Foods: Healthy teeth and gums depend on a diet of minerals and vitamins. Add plenty of fruits, vegetables, lean proteins, and dairy products to your meals. Cheese and milk are foods high in calcium that help strengthen teeth.

Stay Hydrated

Water is crucial for overall health and particularly beneficial for your oral health. Here’s why staying hydrated is essential:

  • Washes Away Food Particles: Food particles and germs that might cause tooth decay and bad breath are washed away by water.
  • Stimulates Saliva Production: Saliva is your mouth’s natural defence against tooth decay. It neutralises acids produced by bacteria and provides disease-fighting substances throughout your mouth.
  • Maintains pH Balance: Drinking water helps maintain a healthy pH balance in your mouth, creating an environment less conducive to bacterial growth.

Try replacing sugary or acidic beverages with water as your preferred beverage and drinking at least eight glasses of water daily.

Quit Smoking and Limit Alcohol Consumption

Both heavy alcohol use and smoking can seriously harm your oral health.

Here’s why you should consider quitting smoking and moderating your alcohol intake:

  • Risks of Smoking: Smoking raises the risk of oral cancer, gum disease, and tooth loss. Additionally, it may result in tooth discolouration and foul breath.
  • Effects of Alcohol: Alcohol can cause your mouth to become dry, which lowers saliva production and raises the possibility of tooth decay. Many alcoholic drinks are also high in sugars and acids, which can damage your teeth.

Commit to giving up alcohol and smoking to enhance your general and dental health.

Schedule Regular Dental Check-ups

Maintaining good oral health requires routine dental check-ups.

Here’s what to expect and why they are essential:

  • Early Detection of Problems: Frequent visits enable your dentist to identify and treat oral cancer, early cavities, gum disease, and other issues.
  • Professional Cleanings: Even with good oral hygiene, plaque and tartar can accumulate in difficult-to-reach places. Professional cleanings remove these deposits, helping to prevent decay and gum disease.
  • Personalised Advice: Your Thornton, Maitland NSW dentist can guide you in enhancing your dental hygiene regimen and suggest ways to make it appropriate for your needs.

Prioritise scheduling cleanings and exams at your dentist’s office at least twice a year.

Protect Your Teeth During Physical Activities

If you play sports or engage in other strenuous activities, you must take steps to protect your teeth from harm.

Here’s how to safeguard your smile:

  • Wear a Mouthguard: A mouthguard is a protective device that covers your teeth and gums, preventing dental trauma during high-impact activities or contact sports. Custom-fit mouthguards, provided by your dentist, offer the best protection and comfort.
  • Be Prepared: Accidents can happen even if you don’t engage in contact sports. Maintain a dental first aid kit containing gauze, a tiny lidded container, and your dentist’s contact details.

Oral Health in Thornton

Maintaining dental health at the beginning of the year sets a favourable tone for your overall health. These simple tips ensure that your teeth and gums stay healthy throughout the year.

If you’re due for a visit, call us on (02) 4966 2996 or book your appointment online today!

Visit us at Thornton Shopping Centre, Shop 30/1 Taylor Ave in Thornton.