When it comes to your overall health and well-being, your dental health should be as important as the rest of your body. Having a strong and healthy set of teeth will not only save you money on preventative care but it can also be one of your most valuable assets.
Some unexpected benefits of a healthy mouth include better respiratory health, reduced risk of certain cancers, as well as heart disease, and improved fertility. To help you light up your face with a brilliant, white smile we have outlined some great ways to keep your teeth healthy, straight and strong.
Mineral Rich Diet
Bacteria and acids from food and drink can reduce the mineral content of your teeth over time. This can result in enamel erosion and the appearance of rough or stained teeth. Daily practices such as brushing and flossing alone will not be adequate to remineralize your teeth, however, lost minerals can be replaced by eating a mineral-rich diet.
Foods that have a high calcium content are particularly beneficial in helping you to strengthen weakened enamel and protect your teeth from erosion. This includes foods such as milk, cheese, yogurt, salmon, sardines, soybeans and dark green, leafy vegetables like broccoli, spinach and collards.
Studies have found oil pulling to be an effective method of reducing mouth bacteria and, therefore, tooth decay. Oil pulling is an ayurvedic technique that involves swishing around an edible oil such as coconut oil in your mouth for approximately 15 minutes. This process can help to clean your teeth by removing bacteria and plaque which contributes to enamel erosion, tooth decay and bad breath. If done regularly, oil pulling can help your teeth to remain healthy and strong.
Too much snacking can be bad for your teeth, as your teeth and gums require a certain pH level which is neither too acidic nor too alkaline. By snacking throughout the day, the bacteria in your mouth will have a regular supply of food which is broken down to produce acid. The more you snack, the more your teeth will be bathed in acidity, contributing to problems like cavities and decay.
By cutting out snacking you will give yourself time to produce enough saliva to neutralize the pH level of your mouth, thereby preventing the demineralization process from happening. Less snacking also gives your digestive system the opportunity to function without interference.
Most people overlook their tongue as part of their morning dental routine, but this important step should not be skipped. Food particles that are lodged in the papillae of the tongue contribute to bacteria, fungi and other toxins which form a white appearance usually first thing in the morning. This can be removed using a tongue scraper or a toothbrush with a scraper on the back. By scraping your tongue clean each day you can ensure a clean and healthy mouth, fresh breath as well as an improved sense of taste.
Drinking water throughout the day will flush away food debris and bacteria from your mouth. It will also neutralize the pH of your mouth by diluting the acids produced by bacteria helping to prevent cavities and tooth decay.
It is especially important to drink or rinse your mouth with water after consuming sugary foods which are broken down into acid. Hydration is also key for saliva production which helps to remineralize your teeth and protect the enamel.
In addition to keeping your teeth healthy and strong, a straight set of teeth can do wonders for your self-esteem and confidence. In the quest for the perfect smile, almost four million people in the U.S. now wear braces.
Unfortunately, not everyone is born with a straight set of pearly white teeth and many people feel embarrassed or self-conscious about their smile. Fortunately, there are many options available that enable crooked teeth to be fixed relatively easily and without the need to wear unsightly, metallic braces. Below are some of the alternative forms of braces available to help you straighten your teeth. Click here to find out what kind of food you can eat with braces.
Clear braces or aligners are one of the most popular methods of straightening misaligned teeth due to their discreet and custom-made appearance. The treatment process involves wearing clear aligners that gradually straighten your teeth by moving them into place. Their clear and removable design is free from wires and brackets unlike that of metal braces making them a popular choice for adults. Clear aligners are effective for people with overbites, gaps and crooked teeth and results can appear within 12 to 18 months of treatment.
These are similar to metallic braces, however, rather than a stainless steel bracket, ceramic braces employ a clear or tooth-colored bracket which seamlessly blends in with your teeth to offer a more discrete method of straightening your teeth.
The brackets in ceramic braces are larger than those in metal braces which can cause difficulty when cleaning the gum line. This can potentially cause sensitive, swollen or receding gums. They are also more likely to break or fracture compared to metallic braces.
Retainers are a common follow-up treatment for people after their braces have been removed, but in certain situations, they can be effective for correcting misaligned teeth. This is particularly in cases where there is a slight gap between the teeth or malocclusion. While they are removable, retainers are most effective if worn full-time.
As opposed to metallic and ceramic braces, lingual braces are fitted at the back of the teeth, so they are much less visible. Instead of applying pressure to your teeth, as other forms of braces do, lingual braces push your teeth into place, thereby pulling them into alignment.
Their close proximity to the tongue can cause a lisp in some people as well as make cleaning your teeth more difficult. Lingual braces also tend to be more expensive than traditional, metallic braces.
With all of the teeth-straightening treatments available you can now feel confident in choosing one that is right for you. As this article has shown, the importance of oral health and hygiene should not be overlooked and there are many ways to keep your teeth looking healthy, straight and strong for years to come.