Dental appointments can be expensive and sometimes uncomfortable. Cosmetic dentistry is even more pricey and can take years to save for. Age also plays a few dirty tricks on our teeth and oral health. Not all of us can visit the dentist as often as we’d like to, though our smile is often the first impression we give. Fortunately there are several ways to take care of our teeth and improve our smile between dental visits that cost little to nothing.
Brushing and Flossing
We all know that brushing and flossing is essential for healthy teeth and a bright smile, and yet many people do not do it enough, or even correctly. Brushing your teeth three times per day is ideal, even if it means taking a toothbrush to work or school with you. Brushing the teeth regularly prevents plaque from building and turning into stuck on, damaging tartar. Only two or three teeth at a time should be brushed at an upward angle in small strokes before moving on to the next few teeth. Pay attention to all sides of the teeth. Flossing is equally as important and should be done just as often as brushing. It also removes plaque but is able to reach places that a toothbrush cannot. Extract a string of floss twice as long as your hand and wrap securely around your forefingers. Gently rub the floss between all teeth and near the gum line to extract lodged particles of food and built up plaque.
This is a dental health tip most people overlook. It seems too simple to help in any meaningful way. However, water is important to the body in many ways including oral hygiene. When babies are first born we use water to rinse their mouths and gums free of damaging bacteria. The same happens in adult mouths. Drinking water after and between meals helps rinse out food particles that have stuck between teeth, and bacteria that can be harmful.
Taking care of your toothbrush and choosing the right one can go a long way to make your smile healthy and bright. Choose a toothbrush with soft bristles. Hard bristles can scrape some of the protective enamel from your teeth and cause the gums to recede. Make sure to let your toothbrush dry completely before using it again. Shake well under cool running water when done brushing, and hang in a place where it doesn’t touch anyone else’s toothbrush. Get a new toothbrush every three months; after that the bristles become less effective.
Everyone should have their teeth professionally cleaned by a dentist twice a year. It is almost impossible to remove every speck of plaque from teeth and the left over particles will eventually turn to hardened tartar and cavities. Dentists are able to use professional tools to remove the hardened, stuck-on tartar and stop cavities in their tracks.
There are many ways to take care of your teeth on a budget but some problems must be taken care of by a dentist. Taking care of your teeth to the best of your ability can avoid painful dentist visits, and keep them at simple yearly cleanings.