It’s no secret that a healthy smile is linked to overall health. In fact, research has shown that people with dental problems are more likely to have heart disease, diabetes, and other chronic conditions. The good news is that there are many things you can do to help prevent tooth decay, gum disease, and other oral health issues. Here are some lifestyle changes you can make for a healthier smile:
1. Cut down on sugar-sweetened beverages.
Sugar-sweetened beverages like soda and energy drinks can be bad for your teeth because they promote tooth decay and can increase the rate at which plaque forms on teeth. The acidity in these drinks can erode tooth enamel, making teeth more susceptible to decay. When you drink sugary beverages, saliva production decreases, which causes the mouth to become dry. Dry mouths tend to have more bacteria in them than wet ones do. This is why it’s essential for people who consume sugary drinks regularly to swish with water after drinking their beverage of choice so that they can help keep their mouths healthy and fresh!
2. Brush your teeth twice a day
It’s essential to brush your teeth after every meal and at bedtime. You should brush again if you eat something else, like candy or popcorn. Be sure to use fluoride toothpaste and a soft-bristled toothbrush. Also, flossing is essential to taking care of your teeth and gums. Flossing removes plaque from between the teeth where traditional brushing cannot reach. If you have trouble flossing through the tight spots where most plaque collects, try using waxed floss or pre-threaded flossers with a plastic handle with attached flosses on both ends.
3. Eat foods high in fiber
Fiber helps cleanse your digestive system by bulking up the stool, so it passes through the colon more quickly. This prevents constipation and hemorrhoids, which can cause pain and bleeding in the rectum or anus. Fiber also prevents heartburn by slowing digestion and softening stools as they pass through the gastrointestinal tract.
4. Drink water regularly
It’s a simple rule that most people don’t follow: drink more water. It’s not just about keeping yourself well-hydrated, though — it also helps keep your teeth and gums strong and healthy. You’re probably dehydrated if you’re not drinking at least eight glasses of water a day. And dehydration can lead to dry mouth, increasing tooth decay and gum disease risk.
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5. Visit your dentist regularly
Your dentist is the best person to recommend how often you should visit their office. They’ll be able to assess whether your teeth and gums are healthy and spot any potential problems early on. Regular checkups allow them to catch problems early on — before they become major issues — so they can treat them before they become more serious problems that could require invasive procedures like surgery or root canal therapy. Other dentists may recommend invisalign. This is a great option for adults who want to improve their smile. They can straighten teeth without the use of unsightly brackets and wires, and the process is more comfortable than traditional braces. Invisalign cost can vary by region and dentist.
6. Reduce alcohol consumption
Alcohol is known to contribute to several issues in the mouth, including tooth decay and gum disease. This is because alcohol contains acids that can demineralize tooth enamel, leaving teeth more susceptible to decay — even if they are already covered with a protective layer of fluoride. It also increases the risk of getting cavities on the biting surfaces of teeth (where food is chewed). If possible, reduce or eliminate alcohol from your diet altogether. If that isn’t an option, try limiting yourself to one drink per day or less as part of a balanced diet.
7. Stop smoking cigarettes and chewing tobacco products
Smoking and chewing tobacco products increase the risk of periodontal (gum) disease, which can lead to tooth loss if left untreated. This happens because these products contain nicotine and other chemicals that harm the tissues that support your teeth (periodontal ligament). Smoking also increases the risk of oral cancer and increases the rate of bone loss due to aging in both men and women.
It is normal to change your lifestyle for the better in certain ways when you choose to make your teeth healthier for yourself and your smile, but it is important to note that each individual differs drastically between themselves. What works for one person may not always work for another. Some lifestyle changes require some experimentation and figuring out what works best, but these are helpful changes that can be made to have a healthier smile.