5 Tips for a Healthy Mouth

Oral_healthOral health requires every bit as much attention to detail as other parts of maintaining our physical well being. Luckily, for many issues related to our teeth and gums, a few simple actions can make a world of difference.

Here are five quick tips that can supercharge the state of your oral health.

5 tips for a healthy mouth

  1. Wear a night guard if you grind your teeth. Bruxism, or teeth grinding, can lead to worn-down, cracked or sensitive teeth, and can eventually play a role in conditions such as receding gums or tooth loss. Over-the-counter night guards are less expensive than a custom-made model created by your dentist, but custom models will fit and function better.
  2. Have the pH level of your mouth checked. The pH level of something tells us how acidic or alkaline it is. Ideally, the human mouth should have a slightly alkaline (above 7.0 on the scale) reading. If your pH level is acidic (below 7.0), you can review your diet and consider eating more alkaline foods, including fruits such as apples and vegetables such as broccoli, cabbage, or Brussels sprouts. Dental rinses such as CariFree, designed to reduce the incidence of cavities, also can lower the pH level of your mouth to optimal levels.
  3. Get an oral cancer screening once a year. Your dentist can perform a thorough examination of your mouth, throat and face to check for warning signs of cancer.
  4. Use a power toothbrush. Power toothbrushes are more effective at cleaning your teeth, plus they are easier to use if you have dexterity problems with your hands.
  5. Don’t abuse your teeth! Your teeth are made to help you chew your food and to help you speak clearly. Do NOT chomp on ice with them, or use your teeth as “tools” to help you open plastic packaging, carry objects when you don’t have a hand free, etc. 

“Sometimes we make oral health more complicated than it really is,” says Dr. Carol Ford, a cosmetic dentist with a practice in central Phoenix. “By consistently protecting our mouth with preventative screenings, by using aids such as power toothbrushes and mouth guards, and by being gentle with our teeth, we can reap huge dental dividends over time!”


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