Know the Drill: Tips for Good Dental Health and Hygiene

February 2019

Study after study now show that maintaining your dental health does more than just keep your smile whole and bright. The Mayo Clinic has noted that good dental health is also linked to reduced risk of cardiovascular disease, rheumatoid arthritis and other serious health conditions. That’s one more reason it’s so important to take good care of your mouth, teeth and gums. Here are some tips to keep your mouth in top shape.

Brush, brush, brush! The American Dental Association (ADA) recommends brushing twice a day, after meals, for at least two minutes with a soft bristled toothbrush. Your choice of toothpaste also matters: Make sure to pick up a fluoridated product to help keep teeth strong and healthy.

Make an appointment. See your dentist regularly for professional cleanings and preventive care. For most patients, the ADA recommends visiting a dentist once or twice each year to help stop oral health problems before they start.

Ditch the tobacco. Tobacco products, including chewing tobacco and cigarettes, can do a number on your teeth and gums. It’s best to avoid them altogether.

Ration sugary and acidic foods. Candies, cookies, sodas, coffee and even alcoholic beverages can strip your teeth of its protective enamel. To keep your choppers in fighting shape, limit consumption of sugary treats. The American Heart Association recommends no more than six teaspoons per day for women and no more than nine teaspoons per day for men.

Don’t forget to floss! Although it’s often the last thing people want to do after a long day, regular flossing helps not only to remove little pieces of food and plaque build-up but also to stimulate the gums and reduce inflammation.

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