8 Great Dental Health Tips

With all the health advice available out there online today, it’s hard to know what’s actually important to your dental health. Dr. Tan-Chu and her team at her midtown Manhattan practice want you to know the top 10 dental care tips so you can keep your mouth and body healthy for years to come.

1. Brush your teeth every day

You’ve been hearing this advice since you started seeing a dentist as a child: brush your teeth twice a day. Brushing removes leftover food particles that feed the bacteria that, when allowed to continue unchecked, can cause cavities, tooth decay, and gum disease. And don’t forget to brush your tongue: If your tongue has a white or yellow film on it, this is waste products of bacteria living in your mouth and the cause of most bad breath.

2. Use toothpaste with fluoride

Fluoride is an important ingredient in toothpaste because it helps attract calcium to strengthen our tooth enamel. Using a toothpaste with fluoride can reverse early signs of tooth decay such as weakened spots in the enamel or exposed roots that could eventually become infected.

3. Flossing is as important as brushing

Your dental team knows when you have been neglecting your flossing! Flossing is important because it removes plaque from hard-to-reach places that a toothbrush alone can’t reach such as between teeth. If plaque remains in these spots, you could find yourself dealing with tooth decay or even gum disease, which has been linked to cardiovascular problems, diabetes and Alzheimer’s Disease.

4. Limit sugar intake, including sugary drinks

Sugar contributes to tooth decay because it feeds the bacteria that live in our mouths. These bacteria, which are mostly harmless, feed off of the leftover food particles on the teeth, and if the food contains a high sugar content, bacteria can multiply even faster. Limiting the amount of sugar in your diet will help keep oral bacteria at bay.

5. See your dentist twice a year

Regular dental exams are essential to preserving your oral health. Your dentist can spot early signs of tooth decay or gum disease before they become more serious, helping you avoid complex dental procedures. They will also perform X-rays to ensure your jawbone is healthy and any as-yet non-emerged teeth will grow in properly.

6. Maintain a healthy diet and stay hydrated

A healthy diet is beneficial not just for overall health, but is important for your teeth in ways you might not expect. In addition to good nutrition provided by healthy foods, many fruits and vegetables are crunchy and chewy, which promotes saliva production. Saliva is important for dental health as it washes away food particles, plaque and bacteria. Staying hydrated also helps your mouth produce saliva

7. Don’t chew on hard items

This may seem obvious, but try not to bite down on hard candies or even non-food items like pen caps or fingernails. These things are harder than you think and can damage teeth.

8. Take care of your toothbrush

Your toothbrush doesn’t need any special cleaning, but make sure its’ bristles are clean and that it dries out after each use. You should store it upright and exposed to air so that it can dry properly.

Dr. Tan-Chu’s team in Manhattan, NY is here to help you maintain your oral health. Schedule an appointment online today or call 212.235.1769 to keep your smile healthy!