Tips to Help You Take Care of Your Mouth

By Dr. Jessie McAllister

A smile is more than just a sign of happiness, it can also reveal a lot about a person’s overall health. After all, your mouth is one of the first places a dentist can spot signs of health issues such as sleep apnea, diabetes, and heart disease. While April is National Oral Health month, it’s important to remember that taking good care of your teeth and gums has a positive effect on your overall health all year long. Here are three things you should continue to do to maintain optimum oral health, and some tricks that you can integrate into your oral care routine to will take your health to the next level.

Keep flossing. Every day.

There’s no sugar-coating it, you need to floss to maintain good oral health. Flossing plays a big part in preventing tartar build up, tooth decay, and gum disease. It can be tough getting into the habit of flossing every day, so set realistic goals like flossing twice a week and build from there.

When you’re flossing, it’s important to exercise the proper technique. If you’re having trouble mastering the u-shaped flossing method, consider using a Philips Sonicare AirFloss Pro and following up with a mouthwash to remove as much plaque and bacteria as possible. Brushing your tongue is also crucial to getting rid of bacteria in the mouth.

Invest in the right tools. It makes a difference.

Your toothbrush is your side-kick and best friend in the fight against tooth decay and gum disease. Choosing the right one for you is an important decision, and is something you should talk to your dentist about. Everyone’s mouth is different and you’ll want to pick a toothbrush that is right for your needs. For example, if you have gum recession, you’ll want a soft bristle brush.

Many people wonder if an electric toothbrush is worth the investment, and assume their manual is enough. Often people think they’re doing a great job brushing with a manual, when in reality they’re not brushing long enough, missing spots, or over brushing and applying too much pressure. In fact, Philips Sonicare technology has been clinically proven to be more effective than a manual toothbrush, using a sweeping motion to create gentle microbubbles that reach deep between teeth for an exceptional clean feeling.

In my experience, I’ve also found that when patients upgrade to an electric toothbrush, their gum line tends to stabilize. Electric toothbrushes, such as the Philips Sonicare ProtectiveClean toothbrush, alert you when you’re applying too much pressure, while gently and effectively removing more plaque and having a greater positive impact on gum health than a manual toothbrush. In addition to improving gum health, the Philips Sonicare ProtectiveClean helps remove surface stains and maintain white teeth, all part of maintaining a good oral care routine and overall oral health.

Make smart lifestyle choices.

You should also consider small lifestyle changes that can help improve your oral health. What we eat doesn’t only affect our bodies, it also has a huge impact on our mouths. Avoiding sugary foods and drinks such as pop, orange juice, confectionaries, and carbs is not only good for the body, but also for the mouth, since these items contribute to plaque build-up and acid erosion.

Other simple lifestyle changes like switching from coffee to a light tea can also help save the enamel on your teeth.  If you still want to enjoy acidic foods and beverages, always follow them with a glass of water; brushing your teeth immediately afterwards will only wear down more enamel. When it comes to what to eat to help maintain a healthy smile, the best foods are vegetables, nuts, seeds, cheese, and milk.

It’s no surprise that what’s good for your body is good for your mouth – it’s all connected. Whether you upgrade to an electric toothbrush or take the time to see a dentist, it’s clear that becoming proactive about your oral health positively benefits your overall health.