Helpful Tips for Keeping Healthy Teeth and Gums

Posted on 9/24/2012 by Gregory A. Williams
"Your oral health plays an important role in how you feel, look, and eat. That's why Dr. Williams remains committed to helping his patients maintain and improve the health of their teeth and gums. Of course there is only so much Dr. Williams can do on his own. Patients must take their oral health seriously, and make an effort to brush and floss daily, while also scheduling regular checkups, to ensure their smile remains beautiful. Here are a few helpful tips on how to take care of your oral health.

Ax the Anxiety

Dr. Williams understands that for many of his patients, the idea of sitting down in the dentist's chair makes them feel anxious and uncomfortable. To help easy any dental anxiety, Dr. Williams creates a comfortable and relaxing atmosphere for his patients to help them let go of any uneasy feelings they may have during their appointment. If you find yourself uncomfortable when visiting the dentist, try bringing headphone and music player to your next checkup so you can listen to a few relaxing tunes during your cleaning. Also, work on not tensing up and holding your breath during the examination and cleaning, as that only makes you more anxious. Try focusing on maintaining a comfortable rhythm with your breathing instead.

Floss Before You Brush

Flossing helps to remove any food particles or plaque that get stuck between your teeth, or in places where your brush can't reach. Since flossing helps to remove these items from hard to reach places, it only makes sense to floss before you brush. That way you can brush away any food particles from your teeth that you dislodge while flossing.

Careful Picking Away

Dislodging food particles stuck between your teeth after a meal will prevent them from starting to decay, which can cause bad breath. If you don't have any floss handy after a meal, a toothpick will work just fine. However, you need to be gentle when using a toothpick around the base of your gums. Pressing too hard can cause gum damage, or could lead to you breaking off a piece of the toothpick below the gum line. So while a toothpick works great in the pinch, don't think you can replace flossing by just picking away.

Say Goodbye

The toothbrush is your most important tool in the fight against plaque. However, even the best tools eventually wear out. When your toothbrush's bristles become frayed, flattened, and worn out due to use, the time has come for a replacement to step in. The American Dental Association recommends that you replace a toothbrush every three to four months, or before if it begins to show excessive wear. If you use an electric toothbrush, follow the manufacturer's recommendations about when to change the head.

Get Cheesy

Cheese contains casein and whey protein, both of which can help to prevent wear on your teeth's enamel by reducing demineralization. Cheese also contains an abundance of calcium, which helps keep your teeth and bones strong. To ensure your body absorbs plenty of calcium, make sure your diet includes plenty of foods that contain vitamin D, such as fish, milk, and egg yolk.

Stain Fighter

Certain foods and drinks, like blueberries, red wine, and coffee, can stain your teeth a darker color. To prevent your teeth from becoming permanently darker, take the time to brush after consuming these types of items whenever possible. If you don't have the chance to brush, thoroughly rinse your mouth with water.

Tongue Depressor

If you suffer from frequent bad breath, the culprit could be the bacteria that grows on your tongue. While brushing, take the time to give your tongue a scrubbing to help remove any foul smelling bacteria. A tongue scrapper will also help to remove any odor-causing compounds.

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