Living Healthier Through Taking Care of Your Teeth

Posted on 6/2/2015 by Dr. Cheryl Freeman
With summer fast approaching, many of us are making resolutions to get healthier. We're toning our bodies, trimming the fat from out diets, and taking the time to "stop and smell the roses." Maintaining a healthy smile is an important part of looking good and feeling good. There is no better time than the present to take steps to ensure that you have a healthy mouth, since dental problems are a lot like putting on extra pounds- they tend to creep up on you and they are a lot harder to get rid of to share with you the following tips from the American Dental Association for maintaining a healthy mouth and smile:
1.  Remember to brush your teeth twice daily with fluoride toothpaste and clean between your teeth daily with floss or an interdental cleaner this is key to good oral health and takes just a few minutes a day.
2.  Choose oral care products that carry the American Dental Association Seal of Acceptance- a symbol that the product has been evaluated for safety and effectiveness.
3.  Eat a balanced diet for good overall health, selecting a variety of foods from the five main food groups (bread, cereals, and other grain products: fruits, vegetables, meat, poultry, fish and alternatives, milk, cheese, yogurt), and limit snacks.
4.  See your dentist regularly for a dental exam and professional cleaning- a key to helping prevent tooth decay and periodontal (gum) disease.
5.  Tell your dentist about cosmetic options for improving the appearance of teeth that are stained or chipped.
6.  Ask your dentist about cosmetic options for improving the appearance of teeth that are stained or chipped.
7.  Don't use tobacco products, they can increase your risk of periodontal disease and cancer of the mouth and throat.
8.  Don't chew on hard objects like ice or pencils that could crack a tooth.
9.  Don't ignore gums that bleed when you brush or floss or changes in the way your teeth fit together when you bite. See your dentist for an evaluation of the problem.
10.  Don't forget to wear a mouthguard when playing active sports

Many of these tips are very basic. Often it takes an extra nudge to get us to do things we already knew were good for us. I often see patients in pain who say they knew they needed to come in sooner but they were too bust, too scared, or even too embarrassed. Now being busy will probably never go away, but if you have ever been to a dentist who made you scared or embarrassed, you just need to find another dentist to take care of you! I hope today's column may have been the extra nudge someone needed to take the necessary steps toward having a healthy smile. As always, questions you may have about any dental topic are quite welcome!



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