Healthy teeth are more important than we can think. We use the mouth to eat, to smile, to speak and much more. Healthy teeth and gums make it easy to eat well and enjoy food. A poor or bad oral hygiene can affect any or all these aspects.
To have a healthy smile requires daily practice and a good oral hygiene habit. Follow these steps to protect your oral health:
- Brush your teeth at least twice a day with a toothpaste with fluoride and approved by the ADA (American Dental Association).
- Make sure the brush is made of soft bristles so you can make small circular movements and short forward and backward movements.
- Take the time to brush carefully and gently along the gum line.
- Lightly brush your tongue to help keep your mouth clean.
- Floss every day to clean between teeth.
- Replace the toothbrush every three to four months and after a cold.
- Maintain a healthy diet.
- Visit your dentist on a regular basis for revision and dental cleaning.
- Avoid using tobacco.
In addition to brushing your teeth and flossing every day, consider using a fluoride mouthwash. Avoid using toothpicks or other objects that can hurt the gums and allow bacteria to enter.
To prevent gum disease and other oral health problems, visit your dentist regularly. Early detection and treatment can help ensure good oral health throughout life.
Tania Mangual-Monzón, MS
NIH National Institute on Aging nia.nih.gov
Mayo Clinic mayoclinic.org