If you think brushing and flossing twice a day is the key to pearly whites, you’re on the right track. But achieving a bright smile isn’t that simple and requires a few extra steps. Van Dyke General & Implant Dentistry offers these 10 tips for a pearly white smile with a bonus tip. Call our office to schedule a cleaning with a dentist Gainesville, FL residents rely on to help them enjoy good oral health!
1. Never Skip Brushing Before Bed
After a long day, it can be tempting to crawl into bed without brushing your teeth. But the few minutes gained instead lays the foundation for an explosion of acid and plaque formation. Plus, the build-up of food debris from daytime eating and snacking often triggers acid attacks responsible for bad morning breath. Regular avoidance of brushing before bed can also speed up the development of inflamed gums.
2. Brush Before Eating Breakfast
Before you enjoy what's considered the most important meal of the day, take several minutes to brush and floss. Eating produces acid inside your mouth and while brushing afterward seems like it would clean out the acid, it has the opposite effect. The brushing motion scours the acid into tooth enamel which causes teeth to appear dull.
3. Don't Forget Your Tongue
Bacteria and food debris can thrive on the surface of your tongue unless it's regularly cleaned. But many people struggle to brush or clean their tongue without gagging or experiencing other reflexes. Brushing side-to-side instead of back-to-front allows you to steadily move backward rather than at once. Your Gainesville dentist can demonstrate how to do this and also provide other tips for cleaning the surface of your tongue.
3. Oil Pulling Doesn't Work
Chances are you know someone who swears by oil pulling. It's done by swishing coconut, olive, or another food grade oil around your mouth for 10–20 minutes with the goal of whitening teeth and reducing oral bacteria. But, any Gainesville dentistry professional would tell you there's no scientific basis for the practice and it shouldn't be used as a substitute for brushing and flossing.
5. Be Careful With Smoothies
Many people enjoy a smoothie as a healthy snack between meals. But depending on the ingredients, a smoothie can be jeopardizing a bright smile. This is because the sugars in food turn into acid when they come into contact with the plaque in your mouth. Instead, make sure your smoothie has ingredients that promote oral health, such as black and green tea and/or yogurt.
6. It's How You Brush (Not What You Brush With)
Many electric toothbrushes are touted as more effective than manual toothbrushes. But this is nothing more than marketing. Dentists in Gainesville, FL would agree the brushing technique matters more than the utensil you brush with. If you do want to use an electric toothbrush, choose a sonic toothbrush, which can provide up to 30,000 rotations per minute, much higher than up to the estimated 7,500 rotations of a traditional electronic toothbrush.
7. Don't Ignore Sensitive Teeth
Tooth sensitivity can develop for many reasons, including drinking carbonated beverages or taking certain medications. But whenever it happens, make sure you say something to your dentist. The sensitivity is a result of worn enamel which, if left untreated, can cause tooth decay and other oral issues.
8. Good Oral Habits Boost General Health
More and more medical studies are pointing toward a link between oral and general health, especially heart health. People with gum disease are more likely to develop heart disease because the weakened gums are unable to stop bacteria from entering the bloodstream. The bacteria then causes blood platelets to stick together in the heart's blood vessels, increasing the risk of blood clot formation.
9. Rinsing Actually Isn't Good
One part of regular care for dental Gainesville residents have heard for many years is rinsing. But instead of helping, rinsing washes away the fluoride that protects your teeth before it has a chance to work. It's best to use mouthwash at a different time for the same reason.
10. Flossing Is Equal To Brushing
If you think your teeth are too close together for bacteria, food debris, and plaque to enter, think again. Plaque forms between teeth on a regular basis and can only be removed with regular flossing. This is because the bristles of a toothbrush are only able to cover the surface area of teeth.