Proper dental care is essential for keeping teeth healthy, but not many know how vital it is in promoting general health as well. It involves taking good care of all parts of the mouth, including teeth, gums, and the tongue. Many adults have dental problems mainly due to ignorance and laziness when it comes to proper adult dental care.
Here are some valuable adult dental care tips to help you maintain good dental health, minimize your risk of dental diseases, and improve your overall health.
You could be brushing regularly, but the brushing isn’t enough to keep your teeth clean. Merely running the bristles over your teeth can’t adequately clear the food debris and polish your teeth.
According to the American Dental Association (ADA), you should brush for at least two minutes to ensure your teeth are thoroughly clean. To properly brush, hold your toothbrush at a 45-degree angle against your gums and use short strokes, back and forth across the front, top, and sides of your teeth. Afterward, with the brush in a vertical position, use a couple of short strokes to clean the backs of the teeth, which are prone to plaque accumulation.
If you wear dentures, you should brush your gums and tongue at least twice a day using a soft toothbrush. Moreover, it’s important to clean dentures after every meal to prevent the build-up of plaque and food particles.
It’s also advisable to take out dentures overnight and clean them thoroughly using liquid soap and a soft toothbrush. Once clean, dentures can either be left to dry or kept in a cup of fresh cold water.
If you feel any pain when wearing your dentures, don’t hesitate to inform your dentist about it.
Many foods and drinks we consume today contain a lot of sugar. These foods are notorious for causing tooth decay.
You should minimize the consumption of foods with added sugar, especially snacks. If you have to eat sugary or sticky foods, be sure to eat them at meal times to minimize the risk of tooth decay.
To floss effectively, consider using about an 18-inch long piece of floss. This is to ensure that you use a fresh area of floss for every few teeth, minimizing the possibility of returning the bacteria you just removed.
When flossing, make sure the floss rubs against the teeth in a movement that creates a forward/backward ‘C’ shape, enveloping the floss around each tooth.
Using alcohol and tobacco products increases your risk of oral cancer. The National Institute of Dental and Craniofacial Research states that men aged above 40 years are the most vulnerable to oral cancer. Moreover, most oral cancers are first diagnosed by the dentist as he performs a routine dental checkup.
To minimize your risk of oral cancers, you should quit smoking and taking alcohol. If you’re not using any of them, don’t think of starting.
Fluoride plays an important role in the health of your teeth. It’s a great mineral that helps in strengthening the teeth enamel and in making them healthier and brighter. It’s also useful in preventing tooth decay.
So, you should make this mineral an element of your daily dental care routine. You can get fluoride from various toothpaste brands, mouthwashes, and supplements in the form of tablets.
Some medications are known to cause mouth dryness (xerostomia). Xerostomia increases the risk of tooth decay. Before taking any medication, ask your dentist, doctor, or pharmacist if the medication you take can cause dry mouth.
Some medications also have a lot of sugar, which can be harmful to your teeth. Be sure to rinse your mouth with water after taking such medications. You can also ask your doctor if there’s a sugar-free alternative.
You should see your dentist at least twice a year. Regular check-ups and professional dental cleanings are essential for maintaining healthy teeth and gums.
It’s also important to visit your dentist as soon as possible if you experience pain in your teeth or swollen and bleeding gums.
Dental care is an integral component of basic human health care and hygiene. Nevertheless, many people disregard proper dental care, resulting in tooth decay, plaque accumulation, and cavities. These adult dental care tips will take you a long way toward maintaining good dental health, which is not only crucial for a healthy smile but also your overall health.