tips for a healthy smile
While a bright smile in the mirror can boost your self-esteem, taking care of your smile - through proper oral hygiene - extends far beyond your self-confidence.
Unfortunately, dental insurance is something that evades many of us - students and employed. However, making your dental health a priority will pay dividends later. Not only can preventative care and regular upkeep help stave off expensive procedures later on, maintaining your oral health can improve your overall health. Gum disease and poor oral hygiene have can contribute to chronic inflammation throughout your system, and can increase your risk of heart disease.
A manual toothbrushing just can't hold a candle to the job an electric toothbrush can accomplish. The increased mechanic friction of the electric toothbrush loosens grime, and finer bristles reach into tighter nooks and crannies. No matter which toothbrush you choose, your brushing technique matters.
Gone are the days of your parents' electric toothbrushes. I recommend Burst - an innovative electric toothbrush with charcoal bristles for whitening, long battery life with USB charging, and regular shipment of your brush heads. Slight vibrations remind you when to switch mouth quadrants, and the timer goes off at the end of your 2 minutes. They also have accessories, like whitening strips.
Check out Burst vs the leading brands in getting these coffee grounds out of a cob of corn.
No matter how well you brush, you can still get germs and plaque between your teeth - and cavities can form. If you have deep grooves in your teeth, you're more prone to cavities no matter how much your brush (though you can reduce the number and severity of them) but everyone is susceptible to cavities in between your teeth. How can you prevent those? Floss!
get dental care
There are a number of dental and oral health issues that just can't be prevented, so it's important to get regular dental check ups. While seeing a dentist every 6 months is ideal, if your wallet can't handle that, try annual check-ups and have a frank discussion with your dentist about what you need to do, to look out for, and how often you *really* need to see them.
Read patient reviews to find the best dental office for you and ask friends and family for recommendations.
If you live near a dental school, find out about free dental screenings. For example, at our dental school, volunteers can get a free screening and cleaning when senior dental students sit for their licensing exams.
consider a night guard
Do you grind or clench your teeth? Whether at night, or during the day, the extra pressure can wreak havoc on your teeth, gums, and jaw. If you wake up with sore teeth, a headache, or sore spots on the inside of your cheeks, you might consider a night guard. A dentist can make a custom fit one for you, like a traditional retainer, but those usually cost several hundred dollars.
A cost-effective alternative is an OTC moldable nightguard. It's easy to mold it to your own mouth, and most come several to a package. Simply replace when you've worn the guard down.
What tips do you have to maintain your oral health?
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a blog about health, wellness, nutrition, and fitness from an epidemiologist / dietitian with personal trainer experience
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