Having healthy teeth is about a lot more than just making sure you have a great smile for photos. Your teeth have a lot to say about your overall healthy teeth have a lot to say about your overall health and wellness.
More than that, your oral health can definitely impact the rest of your body, improving your health if you take good care of your mouth and making things much worse if you don’t.
Fortunately, we’ve come a long way from chewing on spices to improve our breath or using salt and soda to care for our teeth.
While a good toothbrush and high-quality toothpaste can go a long way toward helping you improve your oral health, it’s far from the only oral habit you should be using to take care of your teeth. Here are some of the most important things to keep in mind, and a few tricks and tools to make it easier.
Flossing is one of the most important modern habits that will help improve your oral health and the appearance of your teeth. Even the best toothbrush can only clean the surface of your teeth, but it won’t be able to reach between your teeth for a more complete clean.
Flossing goes between your teeth to remove food and bacteria that might get trapped there. It helps take care of your gums as well. Since trapped foods and bacteria can cause infections and all kinds of gum disease, removing them from between your teeth works to keep your mouth significantly healthier. In fact, it will help keep your whole body in good condition.
Of course, there are plenty of products out there to help you floss, from waxed floss to flavorings, to pre-strung flossing tools all the way to flossing needles that help get around braces and provide better total care.
But some of the best options are the ones that involve less waste and are just as effective as the older tools. Sometimes they’re even more effective.
Water picks (also called water flossers), for instance, are designed to mimic flossing by shooting water between your teeth. These can be a lot gentler than traditional flossing and are also much more effective. They can help to massage your gums, increasing their benefits.
Water picks are also more useful for getting around any oral appliances you might have installed to help with your teeth. They’re great for cleaning around braces, reducing the risk of damage to your teeth from the corrective appliance. Water picks are also easier to use than manual flossing tools if you have a permanent retainer or any other oral appliance.
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Another important tool in addition to water picks and other flossing tools are electric toothbrushes. While a manual toothbrush is a big improvement over older tools, they’re still less effective than good electric toothbrushes.
Flossing can help remove more bacteria and plaque from your mouth, but electric toothbrushes work to do the same thing. They are more effective at removing plaque and bacterial buildup on your teeth, leading to consistently better results at the dentist over traditional tools.
Electric toothbrushes vibrate at different frequencies. Some even have a twisting motion that’s significantly more effective than back and forth scrubbing on your teeth. Its also a good idea to look for an electric toothbrush and water pick combo packs, since tools that are designed to work together will help address any weaknesses in either tool.
Of course, even with the best tools, you should still go to the dentist regularly. That’s partially because your oral health can provide clues to other health problems, and your dentist may catch a problem that you and your regular doctor haven’t noticed.
Another tool that can help you take charge of your oral health is the expanding library of dental apps. These apps address a wide range of problems, from helping parents teach their kids health oral habits and providing information about different dental procedures and what they’re used to treating.
Whether you need a dental app to help you remember to brush your teeth, floss, and use mouthwash twice a day, or are looking for something that gives you more information to talk to your dentist about upcoming procedures, there is a chance an app for you.
Some apps can even help coach you on how to address problems or give you tips for oral care after a dental procedure.
Between all these modern tools, it’s easier than ever to take good care of our healthy teeth, but that doesn’t mean that you don’t still have to put some effort in.