9 Tips for Maintaining Healthy Teeth and Gums

Most people assume that their teeth will always be there. Having and maintaining healthy teeth and gums requires more effort than just using a toothbrush once a day. Strong, healthy, and functional teeth should not be taken for granted. This is especially true as we get older. Common dental complaints includes such symptoms as dry mouth caused by the use of medications, temperature and texture sensitivities, and painful gums.

Baby boomers often voice their concerns about not being able to afford dental insurance. According to a recent WellPoint survey, “Americans over age 45 understand that good oral care can positively affect their overall health.” Furthermore, “while 83 percent of Americans surveyed say they have medical coverage (from either an employer or the government), only half as many are covered by dental insurance.” With retirement, for most baby boomers, around the corner, the cost of dental insurance coverage is a very real issue.

Proper and effective dental care is critical throughout the human life cycle, no matter how young or old you are. The following are some tips that should bring a big, bright smile to your face:

  1. Teeth and gums are made up of calcium. Making sure you have the proper amount of calcium in your diet is important. Eating such foods as cheese, yogurt, and soybeans will help keep your teeth healthy and strong.
  1. Vitamin D, which we mostly get get from sun rays, help absorb the calcium in the body. This is another added benefit of getting out and exercising. Vitamin D levels are easy to check with a blood test.
  1. Diets that are low in vitamin C are known to cause severe dental problems. These problems  include loose teeth and bleeding gums. One way to increase your vitamin C intake is to eat a salad containing citrus fruits. This will help boost the body’s ability to fight destructive symptoms as well as the buildup of plaque. Buffer citrus fruits in your diet by including them as part of a meal as eating them alone could potentially erode tooth enamel due to the acid concentrates in citrus.
  1. Although obvious, avoiding sugary foods is critical to dental health. Consuming foods that are high in sugar, such as candy, convert to acids inside the mouth and can cause the harmful tooth decay.
  1. Saliva is one of the body’s strongest defenses to bacteria. Foods that help promote saliva production can help the body fight bacteria in the mouth. Drinking water is another method of increasing the body’s production saliva and helps maintain healthy teeth and gums. Water also helps clear bacteria from the mount and cleanses the oral cavity.
  1. If unable to floss during the day, consuming hard, crunchy foods, like carrots and apples, can clean the teeth naturally.
  1. Brush and floss your teeth twice-a-day. Flossing your teeth should be a part of your every day morning routine. Further, brushing and flossing after dinner could potentially help you lose weight by discouraging late night snacking.
  1. See your dentist at least every six months. Teeth may not look dirty, but bacteria and plaque hide in places you may not be able to see in the mirror.
  1. Use mouthwash, or at least water, after meals. This practice will help kill germs and help minimize bad breath.

Remember that a healthy smile speaks every language. A healthy smile just isn’t the same without healthy teeth and gums.

Smile Center Dental is a family owned and operated network of dental offices that was founded by Dr. Shayne Istre. The company was established in 1997 with a commitment to provide the highest quality dental care at an affordable price. Call us today at (512) 452-8200 to schedule an appointment.

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