Keeping your teeth and gums healthy is important at any age. Unfortunately, our risk for oral diseases increases as we get older. But that doesn’t mean your dental health needs to decline with age. Adults can take simple steps to improve their oral health and prevent decay from developing or progressing. The benefits of good oral health extend beyond aesthetics. Healthy gums, teeth, and jaw bones help you digest food better by increasing the surface area of your tongue and allowing you to chew more efficiently. This can positively impact your weight and body image, which has been shown to reduce stress, anxiety, and depression – all helpful in getting you through the golden years! So what are some ways adults can improve their oral health? Keep reading for 5 easy tips…
While it might not be the most fun thing to do, flossing is an important part of good oral hygiene. By cleaning between the teeth, you can help prevent the build-up of plaque, which can lead to periodontal disease, cavities, and tooth loss. To ensure flossing is working, you should use about 18 inches of floss and gently move it up and down between teeth until you feel the space has been adequately cleaned. Flossing shouldn’t be done once a week or once a month – it should be done daily. If you’re having trouble fitting it into your daily routine, try using a floss pick or an electric flosser.
Use the right toothbrush
Most people know that brushing your teeth daily and using mouthwash is essential for good oral health, but did you know that using the right toothbrush can make a big difference? You’re less likely to develop cavities if using a soft-bristled toothbrush and fluoride toothpaste – two things that should be a part of any adult’s oral health routine. What type of toothbrush you choose can also affect how your teeth and gums look. Consider using an electric toothbrush because it is generally gentler on gums and can help reduce plaque. Dentists also recommend replacing your toothbrush every 3 months (or sooner if the bristles are frayed) and rinsing the toothbrush after each use.
Try tongue scraping
If you’ve ever seen a tongue scraper up close, you know it’s not exactly something you might choose to do daily. But you need to give your tongue a good cleaning twice a day. Not only can a dirty tongue affect how your teeth look, but it can also cause bad breath and even give you a bad taste in your mouth. It’s also a potential site of oral disease. A tongue scraper is a simple tool to help you keep your tongue healthy. It’s a small brush that you swish around on your tongue to remove bacteria and debris. A tongue scraper can be purchased at any drugstore and is relatively inexpensive.
Visit your dentist regularly.
You might think that visiting your dentist only happens when you’re in pain or have a specific issue. But regular checkups are essential, especially as an adult. Dental visits allow your dentist to assess your overall health and spot trouble before it starts. By visiting your dentist every 6 months (at a minimum), you can catch and treat problems before they become serious issues that require more extensive work. Better yet, you can work with your dentist to develop a proactive oral health plan that will help you prevent common problems like tooth decay and gum disease.
Consider clear aligners
If you’re looking for a less invasive way to straighten your teeth than traditional orthodontics, you might want to consider clear aligners. Clear Aligners are removable plastic trays that fit over your teeth, even if you have missing teeth or gaps. They move teeth gradually over several months by applying pressure in a specific pattern to slowly reshape your teeth and correct alignment. This type of dental treatment is often recommended for adults who wish to straighten their teeth without using metal brackets and wires that many associate with braces.