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Tips for a Healthy Smile

dental hygiene washington dc

Everyone knows that dentists recommend brushing your teeth twice a day, and as the saying goes, “an apple a day keeps the doctor away!” But did you know that apples are more than just a healthy snack? In fact, they can help clean your teeth. Here are some tips for keeping your mouth looking its best between visits.

Brush Your Teeth Daily

For most people, dentists recommend brushing twice a day. If possible, it can even be good to brush your teeth after every meal. Food particles sitting on the teeth turn into tartar and then plaque, so removing them as quickly as possible is always best.

Chew Gum Between Meals

If you’re busy and on the go, it may not always be convenient to brush your teeth after every meal. If brushing isn’t possible, chewing gum can be a good alternative. The gum can stick to food particles and pull them off the teeth, even out of crevices that a brush can’t reach. According to the National Institutes of Health, chewing gum also stimulates saliva production. Saliva essentially washes the mouth out and can slow tooth decay. When choosing a pack of gum, be sure to choose one that is sugar-free. Xylitol is a popular sugar-free sweetener that shouldn’t cause cavities.

Choose the Right Toothbrush

When choosing a toothbrush, look for one with soft bristles. Soft bristles are enough to clean the teeth without damaging the enamel or hurting your gums. An electric toothbrush can do an even better job of cleaning your teeth. In either case, remember to replace your toothbrush or brush head about every three months. An older brush can soften and get bent out of shape for a less-effective clean, and bacteria can accumulate over time.

Use Products With Fluoride

Fluoride is a salt that helps prevent tooth decay. It is so important that it is even added to our water, but it doesn’t hurt to choose toothpaste or mouthwash with fluoride in them, too. This can do wonders for staving off cavities.

Eat the Right Foods

Everyone knows that soda, candy, and other sugary snacks can accelerate tooth decay. Even sweet fruits can be a bad choice for your teeth. Some foods, however, can actually be good for your teeth. Apples are very sweet, but their crunchy texture can scrape food particles off the surface of the teeth and stimulate saliva production to keep your mouth clean. Celery works the same way. Calcium-rich dairy products are also great at strengthening your teeth.

Schedule Regular Dental Check-ups

In most cases, dentists recommend a routine dental visit every six months. Getting a regular checkup allows your dentist to keep an eye out for any developing problems and treat them before they become serious. A dental cleaning uses specialized tools that deliver a clean that is impossible with home brushing. Even if you take perfect care of your teeth, regular professional cleanings are important.

If you are looking for a general dental care provider in the DC metro area, consider the office of Dr. Andrew C. Cobb, DDS in Washington DC. to schedule your appointment today. Contact us online or at (202) 455-0901.