Keeping your teeth beautiful and healthy is a life-long task. If you want a stunning smile that sticks around as long as you do, you will have to be committed to all the healthy habits that will keep them in great shape. Thankfully, you don’t have to do this work alone!
At Mountain West Dental, we are a dentist and orthodontist duo who specialize in helping our patients create and maintain a healthy smile for life. Starting with kids in pediatric dentistry, all the way up to older adults, we know all the tips and tricks for maintaining your smile.
Let’s dive into our list of four top tips for keeping your mouth and smile healthy for life.
This is pretty basic, we know. But the truth is that regularly brushing your teeth is the absolute best way to maintain a healthy smile. This is because our mouths naturally contain bacteria that feed off of the particles and sugars that we consume. The bacteria can grow into plaque and tartar, producing acids that eat away at the enamel on our teeth, causing tooth decay and cavities if left untreated.
Thankfully, most tooth decay can be avoided by diligently brushing your teeth at least twice daily. Dr. Keaton Tomlin and Dr. Allison Tomlin recommend brushing after waking up in the morning to rid your mouth of bacteria from overnight, and once before bed to get your mouth nice and clean from all of the food and drinks you consumed during the day.
When you brush, use a soft-bristled toothbrush and gently scrub all the surfaces of your teeth using soft circles to swipe away bacteria, plaque, and food particles. Don’t miss out on the deep grooves along the tops of your teeth where sneaky plaque likes to hide. Use a fluoride toothpaste of your preference, and try to brush for at least two minutes at a time if possible. Afterward, just spit and swish out any residual toothpaste and you should be feeling fresh and clean for the next few hours!
If you prefer to brush more often than twice daily, go for it! Some people like to brush after every meal, which is a great way to rid your mouth of pesky bacteria. Just be sure that you are brushing gently and not causing any damage to your gums with firm bristles and rough brushing.
Flossing is one area where many people get sidetracked from their dental health. We know that it can be a little tedious, but the long-term results will be worth the small bit of effort now, we promise! Flossing is just as essential as brushing because it removes the trapped bacteria that collects in the tiny corners and crevices between teeth that brushing alone cannot reach. If left, this hidden plaque can cause serious damage to your teeth with tooth decay, cause inflamed gums, and so much more.
Avoid all of those nasty side effects by using floss at least once every day. To do this you will wind a long piece of floss between your fingers, pull it taught, and then gently maneuver the string between each tooth, one at a time. Do this gently without jerking the floss onto your gums, and try to slightly pull the floss from side to side to get trapped plaque and particles from under each tooth. We recommend flossing before brushing so that all of the residue that you loosen up with your floss can then easily be brushed and rinsed away.
If you find that convincing yourself to floss is an uphill struggle, there are several flossing alternatives on the market that can make your job easier! Some people like using the toothpick flossers that you can buy in packs, and others like water flossers that push a jet of water between your teeth to remove plaque and grime. We say, whatever makes it easy for you to get the benefits of flossing is the right move!
Visit the Dentist
Regular visits to the dentist are essential to maintaining oral health. We recommend coming in for a cleaning every six months. Your bi-annual dental visits are where you will get a deep cleaning of your teeth that can remove stuck-on tartar buildup. It’s also a good time for your hygienist and dentist to keep an eye on your tooth health, and monitor areas that could grow into bigger problems later.
When you come in to visit the dentist, you can discuss issues or challenges, like tooth pain, sensitivity, or challenges with maintaining your hygiene routine. Your dentist can give you recommendations, fluoride treatments, referrals to orthodontists or other specialists, and so much more!
Consider an Orthodontist
There’s a reason why Dr. Keaton Tomlin recommends his pediatric patients have a consultation with an orthodontist by around age 7. Orthodontics is often an essential part of long-term health for your mouth. An orthodontist can observe the patterns of tooth loss, how teeth are growing, how the jaw is growing, and if you or your child will need interventions to keep teeth healthy.
Teeth that clash together, or jaw and bite issues can have serious repercussions and lead to tooth loss if not cared for. Don’t hesitate to talk to your dentist about referring you to an orthodontist if they see any areas of concern. And don’t forget that it’s okay to want straight teeth just for the confidence boost! Getting a straighter smile is definitely a part of having great oral health, so don’t wait to get the smile of your dreams.
Find All the Dental Support You Need
At Mountain West Dental you will find all the support you need to keep your teeth healthy for life. From pediatrics to orthodontics, we cover all the bases on keeping teeth looking and feeling healthy. Give us a call to set up an appointment in our Las Vegas office. We look forward to seeing you soon and helping you maintain your healthiest smile.