A healthy mouth is part of leading a healthy life. Oral care affects your smile, diet, and how you speak. Did you know that the most important part of your mouth to keep clean is the gumline? It is also the most difficult, especially between teeth.
Effective oral care includes using proper brushing technique and flossing between teeth. Teeth should be brushed twice daily, and at least 30 minutes after eating. Use dental floss every day to remove trapped food and plaque between teeth. Plaque hardens to tartar when it stays on your teeth for more than 24 hours. Tartar is very difficult to remove, and buildup under the gumline leads to gum disease. Removal of tartar requires regular visits to your dentist.
Your toothbrush should be replaced regularly, before bristles look worn, usually every 3 months. It’s also a good idea to replace your toothbrush after you’ve been sick. Using toothpaste with fluoride helps to strengthen tooth enamel; especially important when eating foods that can weaken enamel.
Some of the healthiest foods we eat can weaken or erode the enamel of your teeth. An apple every day may seem good for you, but the sugar and acid of many fruits can damage enamel. Snacking on vegetables or nuts can be an alternative to acidic fruits. Cut out soda drinks or juices, and use water as your drink of choice. Keeping your mouth hydrated regularly with water not only keeps your teeth and mouth healthy, but will reduce mouth odours.
There are a myriad of toothpastes, and your pharmacist can help you compare the different choices available. Toothpaste formulations may strengthen enamel, reduce tartar buildup, address tooth sensitivity, or help whiten teeth.
Certain medications and some chronic conditions may cause dryness of the mouth, which increases the chance of gum disease and tooth decay. Your pharmacist can answer questions about your medications, maintenance of good oral health and how to reduce the dry mouth symptoms.
Even proper oral care can’t reach all the nooks and crannies of our teeth, so regular visits to your dentist are required to do a proper clean. Oral care includes regular visits to your dentist to assess the condition of your teeth, gums and mouth. See your dentist if you experience unusual tooth sensitivity, bad mouth odour that won’t go away, numbness in the mouth or tongue, sores that won’t heal, lumps or thickened areas in the mouth or tongue which don’t go away.