7 Dental Care Secrets Worth Knowing
Everybody knows the basics of dental care—brush your teeth, go see the dentist, don’t eat too many sweets. There are many other ways you can help keep your teeth in tip-top shape, however, some of them are not so well known. Here are some dental care secrets to keep your smile bright and shiny, your breath fresh and inoffensive, and your teeth chomping well into your golden years.
1. Mouthwash with alcohol can worsen breath
You’ve seen those commercials: a person wakes up, gets out of bed, and everything and everyone around them recoils in horror from their morning breath—luckily, the subject is able to quickly remedy their halitosis with mouthwash. While it’s true that mouthwash can provide short-term relief from bad breath, it can actually worsen breath in the long run. This is because the alcohol in many mouthwashes dries out your mouth, and a dry mouth is a smelly one.
2. Flossing really is important
The fact that you should be flossing isn’t too much of a secret—in fact, it’s a universally accepted truth of dental care. Despite this, many people still do not floss their teeth on a regular basis. In case your general dental well-being isn’t reason enough to floss, consider this: there is evidence that bad flossing habits can contribute to heart disease.
3. Electric toothbrushes are worth it
You might think they’re gimmicky, but electric toothbrushes really are good news for your teeth. The more expensive ones, such as Sonicare, can provide an almost dentist-like cleaning experience. They cost a little bit more than the lower-end options, but your teeth will be grateful.
4. Chew gum!
Your chewing gum could be saving you from cavities. Xylitol, a sugar alcohol naturally occurring in fruits such as pears and strawberries and commonly used in chewing gum, has been proven to combat tooth decay. Chewing gum also increases saliva production, which is another factor in its cavity-fighting power.
5. Misaligned teeth can cause headaches, including migraines
Having straight teeth is not simply a cosmetic issue—misaligned teeth can cause a host of health issues, including insomnia, neck pain, earaches, dizziness, and headaches. For some, misaligned teeth can even contribute to debilitating migraines. If you suffer from any of the above symptoms, talk to your dentist about the wonderful world of orthodontia.
6. Bleeding gums can be a sign of diabetes
The increased glucose found in the saliva of diabetics contributes to the growth of plaque, which can lead to gum disease. One of the hallmarks of gum disease is bleeding gums, so if you’re diligently taking care of your teeth yet notice bloody gums, ask your doctor about getting tested for diabetes.
7. Smoking gives you a much higher risk of periodontal disease
As if you needed another reason to quit smoking (or never start), smokers have a much higher risk of developing periodontal disease, also known as gingivitis. Gingivitis can progress to the point where it destroys the structures in your mouth that support your teeth, so it should definitely be taken seriously. So, dude, quit smoking already!
If you’re interested in helping other people keep their teeth gleaming and glorious, consider enrolling in one of the many available dental assistant schools . It’s a rapidly growing field and the schooling required is minimal. Otherwise, just remember that a healthy mouth is an absolutely vital component of a healthy body!
Madelin Mars is a health-conscious writer and resident of Santa Cruz, CA.