5 Periodontist Tips for a Healthy Smile

  • family brushing teeth in bathroom
    Prioritize Your Oral Health
    Taking care of your teeth and gums is incredibly important. Without proper oral hygiene, the bacteria on your teeth and gums will build up and your immune system will begin trying to fight it. This process causes lots of inflammation, which can damage your gums and may contribute to serious health problems. Fortunately, taking care of your oral health isn’t hard if you stick to the basics. Here are the tips I share most often with my patients to help keep them smiling.
  • young woman brushing teeth
    1. Brush your teeth—properly—every day!
    It shouldn’t come as a surprise that it’s important to brush your teeth every day. Brushing removes plaque—the film of bacteria that builds up on your teeth—and prevents you from developing gum disease and tooth decay. But it’s also important to brush correctly. Stay away from hard toothbrushes, as they can cause damage to the teeth. A soft or medium toothbrush should be perfect. Try to brush at a 45-degree angle from the gum and avoid scrubbing along the border of the gums to prevent damaging the soft tissue there. And do your best to brush for a full two minutes so you’re able to really remove all the plaque on the surface of your teeth. Brush once in the morning and once before bed to keep your teeth sparkling and clean.
  • container of dental floss on table
    2. Floss daily.
    Flossing is essential, but I know it can be hard to do it every day. However, a toothbrush won’t be able to reach between the teeth to remove the plaque there, so it’s worth committing to flossing every day to keep your teeth clean. It’s also important to floss properly—you don’t want to just haphazardly saw into your gums; you want to wrap the floss around the tooth so it’s hugging the tooth, and then pull the floss down gently between the teeth. I tell my patients to try to floss every day, but if that isn’t feasible, doing it every two or three days is better than nothing at all. If your gums bleed while you floss, don’t be discouraged; if you floss every day, they won’t bleed after a while.
  • man applying toothpaste to toothbrush
    3. Make sure your toothpaste fights cavities.
    Fluoride is a mineral that strengthens tooth enamel and makes it more resistant to decay; in essence, it makes teeth stronger. Using fluoride toothpaste is the best way to prevent cavities and avoid tooth loss, so I recommend it to all my patients. There are many toothpastes out there, each with different functions, like whitening, tartar control, and sensitive teeth toothpaste. Regardless of the one you choose, make sure it contains fluoride to keep teeth cavity-free.
  • Toothbrush
    4. Care for your toothbrush.
    I replace my toothbrush as soon as the bristles start to bend; for me, this is usually once a month. I tell my patients to keep their toothbrushes stored far away from the toilet to prevent unwanted bacteria from reaching the brush, and I also recommend letting your toothbrush airdry after use. Don’t enclose it in a special holder or bag, because that could cause bacteria to multiply.
  • Colorful candy group closeup
    5. Reduce your sugar intake.
    You might be trying to eat less sugar as part of a healthy diet, but it’s also helpful for a healthy mouth. Bacteria love sugar, so when there’s lots of sugar on your teeth, there will be lots more bacteria developing into plaque, leading to gum disease. Make sure you brush your teeth twice a day to get rid of bacteria and sugar on your teeth, and try your best to reduce the amount of sugar you’re taking in. Your mouth will thank you!
5 Periodontist Tips for a Healthy Smile
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THIS CONTENT DOES NOT PROVIDE MEDICAL ADVICE. This content is provided for informational purposes and reflects the opinions of the author. It is not a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. Always seek the advice of a qualified healthcare professional regarding your health. If you think you may have a medical emergency, contact your doctor immediately or call 911.