Maintaining your oral health is about so much more than making sure your breath is fresh and that you don’t have a piece of broccoli stuck in your front teeth. It’s about taking care of your teeth and your gums and making it a part of your overall daily health regimen. That’s why, in honor of National Dental Hygiene Month, we’ve put together this list of tips for keeping your pearly whites just as pearly and white – and healthy – as the day they started coming in!

Have a dental check up every six months. It is so important to have your teeth professionally cleaned to remove plaque build-up that you cannot brush or floss away. In addition, your dental hygienist and/or dentist will be looking for any signs of decay. They might also take x-rays to double check for any cavities. And remember to take the kiddos as soon as their teeth start to appear. This way, they’ll begin to get used to the sights and sounds of the dentist office and will embrace going because it’s what they’ve always done.

Brush twice and floss once – every day. We’ve been hearing this our entire lives, but it’s one of the best things you can do for your teeth and gums. No time to brush after a meal? Try rinsing your mouth and/or chewing sugar-free gum to get the saliva going which naturally washes away bacteria. And don’t forget to change those toothbrushes three to four times a year!

Clean your tongue. Bacteria on your tongue can contribute to bad breath – halitosis. By cleaning the surface of your tongue daily with a professional tongue cleaner, you remove countless bacteria and keep your breath fresh and clean!

Limit your soda, coffee and alcohol consumption. These drinks can deplete the body’s level of calcium – key for strong, healthy teeth. Plus, you can end up with tooth decay and gum disease. In addition, beverages containing corn syrup and food dye can make your bright white teeth seem dull and/or discolored. So go for the milk and the water! Milk to strengthen teeth and build stronger tooth enamel and water because it hydrates your body far better than any of those sugary drinks.

Calcium and Vitamin D are your friends. You can make sure you’re getting plenty of calcium by drinking milk, fortified orange juice, yogurt, broccoli, cheese and other dairy products. You could also try a calcium supplement along with other vitamins that are essential for maintaining healthy teeth and gums including: Vitamin D, Vitamin B complex, copper, zinc, iodine, iron and potassium.

Most experts agree that almost all tooth decay and most gum disease can be prevented with good oral hygiene. And National Dental Hygiene Month seems like a good time to get started with a solid plan to keep those choppers looking and feeling good! We hope you find these tips helpful on your road to better oral hygiene. Happy brushing!

If you’d like to learn even more tips for optimal oral health, please don’t hesitate to contact us!

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