San Francisco, Marin, and Oakland, CA
Maintaining good oral health does more than just produce healthy teeth and gums. It helps lower your risk of cardiovascular disease, diabetes, and even dementia, according to studies. Not to mention, it can give your confidence a big boost. But it’s going to take more than just brushing your teeth daily. Today on the blog, our San Francisco general dentists share eight ways to improve your oral health, and it’s not as hard as you think.
Avoid damaging your enamel
Damaging your enamel makes your teeth susceptible to tooth decay, sensitivity, staining, and damage such as breaking or chipping. Certain things that we consume are highly acidic and likely to damage dental enamel over time. Foods like sticky candy, sweetened juices, sports drinks, and highly acidic beverages like sodas, coffee, and wine could damage your enamel. This is more so if you consume them and then don’t brush immediately afterward. Limit your consumption of these beverages to protect your enamel.
Eat a healthy diet
Help keep your teeth strong, white, and free of cavities by eating a balanced diet rich in fresh fruits and vegetables, leafy greens, lean meats, and dairy. These foods provide your body with calcium and phosphorus, which are necessary for maintaining strong, healthy enamel that is less likely to succumb to cavities or damage.
Your chances of getting cavities are higher if you expose your teeth to food more frequently. It’s better to avoid snacking because it means subjecting your teeth to substances that fuel oral bacteria, which are responsible for causing cavities and tooth decay. If you must snack between meals, reach for something healthy like fresh carrots, apples, or celery paired with low-fat cheese. Raw, crunchy fruits and veggies help remove bacteria and biofilm, the building block of tooth decay, from your teeth. And cheese is loaded in calcium and fuels the healthy bacteria in your mouth.
Avoid using tobacco products of any kind
Tobacco products such as smoking, chewing tobacco, and even vaping are not good for your teeth. Not only does tobacco cause staining, but it leads to bad breath that can be difficult to banish. Tobacco also impedes blood flow, which means you’re more at risk of infection, and it takes longer to heal.
Limit consumption of teeth-staining foods and beverages
Certain foods and beverages are notorious for staining teeth. Coffee, wine, marinara sauce, and dark berries may lead to teeth staining. While you don’t have to avoid them entirely, just consume them occasionally, and make certain to brush and floss afterward to prevent staining. If you end up with yellow or dingy teeth, you can ask the dentist about professional teeth whitening to brighten your smile.
Fuel up on plenty of water
Water is the best beverage to drink. It helps rinse away harmful bacteria from your mouth without leaving any sugar or tooth-staining substances behind. It’s calorie-free and healthy for everyone to drink. It’s also a good idea to finish each meal by taking a few sips of water and swishing it around in your mouth to remove any substances that may remain stuck on or between your teeth.
Chew sugar-free gum
Unable to brush between meals during the day? Chew some sugar-free gum containing xylitol, which is known to help reduce the risk of cavities, according to studies. Chewing gum should never replace regular brushing and flossing each day, but it’s definitely helpful between brushing sessions or if you’re in a pinch and unable to brush.
See your Bay Area dentists regularly
Seeing the dentist at least twice a year for professional dental cleanings and exams is one of the best things you can do to guard your oral health. Everyone gets tartar buildup that can only be removed by a professional dental cleaning. If ignored, this buildup is likely to lead to cavities and gum disease.
Family Dentists in the Bay Area
Looking for a family dentist in San Francisco? Contact Glen Park Dental by calling (415) 585-1500. We welcome patients of all ages. Visiting our office is convenient because we offer general and cosmetic dentistry, as well as early orthodontic treatments for children. If you’d like to learn more ways to protect your oral health or need to schedule an appointment, please contact our office today.