A dazzling smile isn’t just about looks: It is an indicator of overall health. Research has shown that people with healthy teeth and gums tend to have lower risks for heart disease, stroke, diabetes, and infections such as pneumonia. To maintain a healthy mouth, it’s important to practice daily oral hygiene, limit sugary snacks, and get regular cleanings and checkups with a professional Torrance dentist.
A clean mouth is an indicator of healthy teeth, gums, tongue and jaw. Teeth should be free of cavities and have firm, pink gums that do not bleed during brushing or flossing. Your breath should smell fresh, and your jaw should not feel stiff or pop when you open it.
Poor dental health can lead to tooth decay, infection, and loss of teeth. It can also affect your self-esteem, speech and nutrition. It’s especially important to see your dentist and hygienist regularly to have them remove hardened plaque, called tartar, and examine for signs of gum disease or other problems.
In addition to regular brushing and flossing, a well-balanced diet can greatly improve your dental health. You should eat lots of fruits and vegetables, whole grains and lean proteins. You should also drink plenty of water throughout the day to help wash away bacteria that could cause an infection or promote tooth decay.
Limiting Sugary Snacks
According to the American Dental Association (ADA), high levels of sugar in the mouth encourage the growth of bacteria that can produce acid and contribute to tooth decay. This is why it’s important to limit your intake of candy, cookies, soda, and other sugary foods and drinks.
It’s also a good idea to choose low-sugar or no-sugar versions of these foods and beverages whenever possible. You should also be wary of starchy foods, such as crackers, chips, and bread, as these linger in the mouth and break down into simple sugars that acid-producing bacteria can feed on.
Calcium- and Phosphate-Rich Foods
Minerals like calcium and phosphorus are essential for good dental health. These minerals help strengthen the teeth and bones. Good sources include cheese, milk, tofu with added calcium, leafy greens and fatty fish.
In addition to practicing good oral hygiene and eating a balanced diet, you should visit your dentist and hygienist at least once every six months. These visits usually include a cleaning to remove the tougher plaque and tartar, followed by a dental exam and checkup. It’s also a good idea to talk to your dentist or hygienist about any medications you are taking and about changes in your medical history that may affect your dental health. This helps your dentist or hygienist detect and treat any problems before they worsen. It’s also a great time to schedule any elective dentistry procedures that might improve the function and appearance of your smile.