Even though restorative dental services are more effective than ever, you still need to do everything in your power to protect your teeth and gums. Being proactive about your oral health will drastically reduce your risk of countless issues ranging from tooth infections to gum disease. Here is a look at four simple steps that you can take to protect your mouth and preserve your smile.

Upgrade Your Toothbrush

As a general rule, you should always try to use toothbrushes that have been approved by the American Dental Association. The ADA rigorously tests all of those products, and they must meet very specific requirements. The American Dental Association also claims that manual toothbrushes can be just as effective as electric toothbrushes, but many patients prefer the convenience of electric toothbrushes. Those brushes often hold a charge for weeks at a time, and the heads can easily be replaced whenever they get dirty.

Regularly Use Anti-Bacterial Mouthwash

An antiseptic mouthwash will kill most of the bad bacteria in your mouth and rinse away any lingering food debris that you have on your teeth. Rinsing with mouthwash is a great option if you don’t have time to brush your teeth and floss between meals. While every product is slightly different, most experts agree that you should try to gargle with mouthwash for at least 60 seconds. That will give the antiseptic ingredients plenty of time to destroy the germs in your mouth.

Avoid Processed Sugar and Simple Carbohydrates

No matter how well you clean your mouth, there will always be at least a few lingering germs in the cracks and crevices. Unfortunately, those germs feed on processed sugar and simple carbohydrates, and they could eventually cause gingivitis, halitosis, or other serious oral health issues. If you end up eating sweet treats or simple carbs, then you should try to have a big glass of water. Water won’t thoroughly clean your mouth, but it will remove some of the food debris and germs.

Schedule Frequent Dental Checkups

At the very least, you should try to visit the dentist once a year for a comprehensive checkup. During those appointments, your dental team will check for a wide variety of health complications ranging from minor infections to serious abscesses. A local dentist can also scrape away some of the plaque and tartar that you weren’t able to remove with your toothbrush and floss

In addition to these few tips and tricks, you also need to schedule an emergency appointment with a dentist whenever you notice any problems with your teeth or gums. Many oral health problems can easily be avoided as long as you visit a dentist as soon as you notice the early warning signs.

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