This look might be cute on a kid, but not so much on an adult. It amazes me that some people do not find teeth a priority. There are customers who come through my checkout lane with booze, cigarettes, and lottery tickets but not a tooth in their head, or the teeth they have appear to be moldy. ugh. Maybe I’m weird, but I think having teeth is a good thing.
Not taking care of your teeth and gums can cause a myriad of other problems from stroke and heart attack to osteoporosis and problem pregnancies. Bacteria and disease in your mouth is often the beginning of all sorts of nastiness in your body so let’s start at the top!
Brush your teeth at least twice but no more than three times per day. Morning and evening are best but if you only brush once, it is actually more important to brush before going to bed. Your mouth is dry when you are sleeping which allows bacteria to do all sorts of nasty things to your tissues. If you can’t brush after lunch, rinse your mouth with water and chew some sugarless gum.
Speaking of brushing, how often do you replace your toothbrush? I only did twice a year when I got the free one from the dentist but it is recommended that you get a new brush every 3 months. Soft bristles are eaisest on your gums and there is no real difference between manual and electric- just your personal preference.
And what about toothpaste? There must be 100 different kinds to choose from! Most dentists agree (well, at least 4 out of 5) that toothpaste is pretty much all the same so choose one that is ADA recommended in a flavor you like. Pricier toothpastes do not work better than the cheap ones and most of the claims (plaque remover, whitening, etc) are just for marketing. However, if you have sensitive teeth, it might be worth it to pay a bit more for a specialty paste.
I always though it was normal to have bleeding or sensitive gums the month or so before my dentist appointment. But that was before I had a cap put in that required daily flossing. Voila! Flossing everyday prevents sore and bleeding gums!! Who knew? Yes- floss at least once a day, twice is even better to get rid of all the gunk that hides in the crevices. Bacteria thrives on that gunk and it will cause some major plaque problems.
Also- take it easy on the sugary, sticky food and sweet drinks such as soda and juice. Starchy stuff like potato chips also cling to your teeth so brush or rinse with water after having a snack. Even better, opt for yogurt or low fat cheese for a snack, it’s good for your waistline AND your teeth!
I’m not a germaphobe and never really thought much about bacteria and such, but now that I know that just a few simple steps can save a lot ot pain and money later, I am going to add a few extra minutes everyday to take care of my choppers!
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