senior man with a big smile

Show Off That Smile: Why Your Dental Health Matters

Maintaining healthy teeth isn’t just about a good-looking smile. Yes, a nice bright smile feels good, but your oral health is much more important than that.

With regular checkups and good oral hygiene, you’ll have good reason to flash your smile for years to come.

When you don’t take care of your teeth, you can develop several problems such as tooth decay, gum disease and other health issues. Luckily, we’ve got some simple tips to help keep your teeth healthy and that smile bright.

Five Tips to Keep Your Dentist Happy

    1. Practice good oral hygiene. This doesn’t just mean running a toothbrush across your teeth for a few seconds after a long day. It includes several key factors:
      1. Brush your teeth twice a day for a minimum of two minutes each time.
      2. Use toothpaste with fluoride. It doesn’t matter what brand or flavor, but fluoride helps protect your teeth from decay.
      3. Floss daily. Flossing isn’t just for when you feel a piece of broccoli stuck between your teeth. It should be done daily to stimulate your gums and reduce plaque buildup. If you have arthritis or find it difficult to use regular floss, check out other options. Most stores sell ready-to-use flossers that make it much easier.

man eating apple

      1. Visit your dentist every six months for checkups and cleanings. Regular care helps you find problems right away when they’re easier to treat.
      2. Avoid smoking. Smoking is a major cause of gum disease, which can lead to painful gums and loose and sensitive teeth that may decay or be compromised.
      3. Limit alcoholic drinks. Drinking can prevent you from producing saliva, which is one of the most effective ways your body cleans your teeth, strengthens your enamel and neutralizes the acidity in your mouth.
      4. Keep your sugar intake under control. Sugary drinks and foods, like candy and soda, are bad for your teeth because harmful bacteria thrive on them. If you’re going to have something sugary, try to remember to drink some water when you’re finished to swish away some of the sugar left behind.

Problems That Come With Poor Dental Hygiene

Why does all this matter? Is it just about having a white smile? Nope. Good oral hygiene can prevent many issues that cause pain and disability including:

young woman talking to her dentist

      • Untreated cavities
      • Gum disease
      • Tooth loss
      • Oral cancer (This is particularly common in people older than 55 who smoke and are heavy drinkers.)
      • Other health issues (Some studies suggest bacteria from gum disease can increase your risk of heart disease and lead to poor pregnancy outcomes.)

Sometimes, having a chronic disease such as arthritis, heart disease or diabetes; being obese or having a weakened immune system can increase your risk of having poor dental health. This makes regular checkups and good dental care even more important.

With regular checkups and good oral hygiene, you’ll have good reason to flash your smile for years to come.

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