Everyday Dental Health

Regardless of the condition of a patient's teeth or his or her dental history, everyday dental health is something that can be improved by everyone. From those who need their daily dental health habits overhauled to those who just need a little fine-tuning; it's a good idea for patients of all ages to follow a dental health checklist as they do their best to maintain healthy teeth for a lifetime. Here are some everyday dental health tips to follow:

Brush multiple times per day. This of course is the most obvious one, but it never hurts to repeat the basics. Brushing after every meal will go a long way towards maintaining good daily dental health, and brushing before bed is a must because doing so will help reduce the amount of bacteria that builds up overnight. Some studies indicate that bacteria grows twice as fast overnight on the teeth of those who don't brush before bed.

Protect and regularly replace your toothbrush. Even those who have good everyday dental health habits fall prey to leaving the toothbrush exposed near the sink or toilet and/or using a toothbrush long past the point of effectiveness. Always make sure to cover the toothbrush and tuck it away in the medicine cabinet. Leaving it uncovered and/or exposed near the sink will leave it vulnerable to collecting more germs and bacteria. In addition, a toothbrush loses effectiveness the more it is used, so make sure to replace the toothbrush every three or four months.

Limit sugary foods, but especially before bed. Everyone has a sweet tooth, but the older we get the more we realize just how damaging candy and other sugary foods and drinks can be for us. The enamel that protects teeth is slowly worn away by the acid in these foods and drinks. And that process is hastened when sugary foods and drinks are consumed before bed, even if a patient brushes his or her teeth afterward. The mouth produces less saliva during sleep, which makes it impossible to wash away the sugar from "sweet tooth" foods and drinks. If patients must have something with sugar in it, make sure it is consumed long before bed and that they brush their teeth immediately thereafter.

Floss at least once a day. This is a daily dental health habit that often slips through the cracks, either because the patient forgets or because he or she figures regular teeth brushing is enough. Unfortunately, it isn't, and flossing is essential in getting the bits of food and the plaque that build up in between the teeth and under the gumline-i.e. the areas a toothbrush can't reach. Patients should use around 18 inches of floss and have between one and two inches to work with after wrapping the remainder of the floss around both middle fingers.

Listerine Use. Listerine kills bacteria. Plain and simple. This is the bacteria we all have in our mouths that cause tooth decay and periodontal disease. Listerine is a liquid so it can get into all the cracks and crevices to kill those harmful bacteria and give your mouth a fresh start. Listerine should be used twice daily after morning and evening oral hygiene.

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