“Say cheese!” When it’s time to smile to do you show off those pearly whites with a big grin or do you close your lips tight and hide your teeth? At Hill Country Oral Surgery in Austin, TX we want our patients to be proud of their teeth, knowing that their smile is healthy and beautiful. We can’t achieve this goal on our own. If you want a stunning smile, you’ll have to put in the work.
How do you get your smile looking its best? A change of habits may be the key. Here are five good habits to adopt if you want a beautiful, healthy smile.
1. Visit the Dentist Regularly
Professional maintenance can make a big difference in your oral health. Visiting the dentist allows you to check in on your smile, finding potential problems while they’re still small. It is much easier and less invasive to fill a tiny cavity than to perform a root canal. Your dentist will also check for signs of oral cancers, measure gum and bone health, and provide treatment and home care recommendations.
A good dental visit typically includes a cleaning. This isn’t a substitute for at-home care. The hygienist will tackle your trouble spots, those areas where build-up has collected, in spite of your best home dental care efforts. A dental cleaning complements the brushing and flossing you do at home.
How often should you visit the dentist? Many dentists recommend at least two visits per year, more if you have gum disease or other dental health problems. Talk with your dentist to find out how often you need to go in.
2. Brush Your Teeth at Least 2x Daily
The American Dental Association (ADA) recommends brushing your teeth at least twice a day, for two minutes a session. These tips will help you master the art of brushing your teeth.
- Use a soft-bristled toothbrush.
- Your toothbrush size should easily fit into your mouth and should allow you to easily reach all areas.
- Use fluoride toothpaste, unless your dentist has instructed otherwise.
- Hold the toothbrush at a 45-degree angle to the gums.
- Brush all tooth surfaces including inner surfaces, outer surfaces, and chewing surfaces.
- Replace your toothbrush every 3-4 months, sooner if the bristles fray. As your toothbrush wears out, it can’t clean your teeth as effectively.
- Brush for at least two minutes, two times daily.
If you have questions about brushing your teeth, talk with your dentist.
3. Don’t Forget the Floss!
Nearly a third of U.S. adults never floss their teeth. Another third floss, but not every day. Daily flossing is a must for optimal oral health. Flossing is a type of interdental cleaning and helps keep your mouth healthy by removing build-up and bacteria from between the teeth and under the gumline. If you’re not sure how to properly floss, talk with your dentist for some tips and a demonstration.
When to floss is a common question. Timing is less important than actually getting it done. You can floss in the morning, at night, or any other time you choose. You can floss before or after brushing, or even without brushing. Getting your daily flossing done is what really matters.
4. Less Candy and More Vegetables
If you want to have a healthier body, eat better. The same holds true for your teeth. What you eat plays an important role in the health of your teeth and gums.
What does a good diet for oral health look like? Pack your plate with foods like:
- Whole grains
- Lean protein
- Low-fat dairy
Sugar causes tooth decay by interacting with plaque to create acids that break down tooth enamel. Cut down on sugary foods to reduce the amount of sugar in your mouth. Snacks can be problematic for your teeth too. When you snack, your body releases less saliva than during a meal. Saliva washes away foods and sugars and lessens the impact of acids on the teeth. If you need a snack, choose a healthy one.
This healthy habit isn’t just beneficial for your teeth. Eating right will improve your overall health, from head to toe, not just the mouth.
5. Treat Existing Dental Problems
Smiles aren’t always healthy or beautiful. Life happens and you may be in need of some dental work before you’re ready to show off your smile. We know that getting dental work done can be intimidating. We’ll work with you to reduce nervousness. We want you to find dental solutions that work and we have many options available. Come talk with us and see how easy dental work and oral surgery can be. Our treatments include:
- Wisdom tooth removal
- Tooth extraction
- Impacted canines
- Facial trauma
- Jaw surgery
- Dental implants
- Bone grafting
- Full dental arch restoration (All-On-4)
If you’re embarrassed of your smile or if you have existing dental health problems, come see us and explore your options.
Are these good habits already part of your life or is it time to make a change? Let’s improve on your smile together!