• March 11, 2018

March 20 is World Oral Health Day, which gives you the perfect opportunity to evaluate your own oral health habits. Are you doing what it takes to maintain a healthy smile? What parts of your oral health routine could use a little improvement?

At Shorewood Family Dental Care, we can help you answer those exact questions to ensure you’re taking good care of your teeth.

You should first take into account your individual healthcare needs. You may have a particular health condition that affects your teeth and oral health. When you first visit our Shorewood, IL dental office, be sure to mention any changes in your health and any medications you’re taking. That way we can help you establish a proper oral health care regimen.

In the meantime, continue reading to learn more about general oral health and what you can do to maintain a healthy smile.

A Proper Daily Oral Health Routine

To maintain a healthy mouth, you should establish a daily oral health routine that is easy to follow. Your routine should include brushing your teeth at least twice a day, ideally in the morning and before you go to bed. To really prevent plaque from building up on your teeth, brush after each meal. You should also floss at least once a day.

If plaque is not removed, it will combine with sugars to create acids that cause tooth decay. That bacterial plaque can also cause gum disease and other periodontal diseases.

For extra protection, you can use antibacterial or fluoride mouthwash to reduce bacteria and prevent tooth decay.

For children, fluoride strengthens teeth as they develop. For both children and adults, fluoride fights tooth decay. You can get fluoride in toothpaste and mouth rinse as well as tap water. We also can provide fluoride treatments at Shorewood Family Dental Care during your visits.

A Well-Balanced Diet For Healthy Teeth

For strong, healthy teeth, a well-balanced diet is essential. When deciding what to eat, you should always aim to eat various foods from each of the five main food groups: whole grains, vegetables, fruits, lean protein (lean beef, fish, chicken, turkey, dry beans, peas, and legumes), and low-fat or fat-free dairy products. Also, be sure to drink plenty of water.

There’s nothing wrong with enjoying a snack now and then, but when you do choose something healthy like a piece of fruit, a vegetable, or a piece of cheese.

Foods that are eaten as part of a meal cause less harm to teeth than eating lots of snacks throughout the day, because more saliva is released during a meal. Saliva helps wash foods from the mouth and lessens the effects of acids, which can harm teeth and cause cavities.

Don’t Let Tobacco Ruin Your Smile

Let’s be frank. Tobacco is horrible for your oral health.

Smoking, using smokeless tobacco, and, yes, using electronic cigarettes are all bad for your mouth. Using tobacco increases your risk of a wide range of oral health problems.

Tobacco can stain your teeth. Tobacco can dry out your mouth. And tobacco use increases your chances of developing cavities, gum disease, and oral cancer.

That’s to say nothing of the many other benefits for your overall health that come with quitting tobacco. If you are ready to quit, the Illinois Department of Public Health has a program that may help. You can learn more at the Smoke-Free Illinois website or by calling 866-QUIT-YES.

 

Make Dental Checkups One of Your Habits

Even if you are doing everything else that you should, you also should schedule regular professional cleanings and exams with a family dentist that you trust.

We are confident that we can be that trusted family practice for you and your loved ones. We treat patients of all ages with a focus on making dental visits as painless and enjoyable as possible.

If you haven’t yet scheduled your next dental visit, call 815-768-1615 or contact us online.