Simple Ways to Have Healthy Teeth and Gums for Life

Having healthy teeth and gums plays an essential role in your overall health. Consequently, it is important to do whatever you can to ensure they remain in great condition. Everyone knows that brushing and flossing are the foundations of a healthy oral hygiene routine. They are not, however, the only ways to maintain a bright, healthy smile.

Eat an Apple a Day

Eating an apple a day will not only keep the doctor away, but the dentist as well. Crunchy foods like apples help to scrub away the stains on your teeth. The rigid texture works like a toothbrush when you are chewing, helping you eliminate stubborn stains over time.

Brush with Fluoride

It's also a good idea to brush with a fluoride toothpaste to keep your teeth healthy. Fluoride works to decrease the risk of tooth decay by building an invisible layer of protection over your teeth. This protection makes your teeth more resistant to plaque buildup and the deteriorating effects sugar can have on them.

Flossing

Flossing should be a staple in any healthy oral care routine. Daily flossing aids in preventing tarter buildup, heart disease, tooth decay, and halitosis. It takes only a few moments to floss properly, but the benefits are long lasting.

Drink Milk

Drinking milk is an excellent way to get your daily dose of calcium. Calcium not only gives you strong bones, but also strong teeth. More than 95 percent of the calcium in your body is found in your bones and teeth. If you're not big on milk, other excellent sources of calcium include cheese, yogurt, broccoli, and tofu.

Change Your Toothbrush

Over time, the bristles on your toothbrush can break down, rendering them less effective at removing plaque from your gums and teeth. Always make a point to change your toothbrush every three months or so. However, should you have the flu, a cold, or any mouth infection, it's a good idea to change your toothbrush right away to prevent the return of infection.

Avoid Tobacco

If you truly want to keep healthy teeth and gums, it's important to avoid tobacco in any form. Tobacco use, whether chewing or smoking, contributes to an overwhelming number of cases of oral tissue damage. The powder found in tobacco not only stains your teeth, but can also weaken them. In more serious cases, it can even cause oral cancer. Learn more about how stopping tobacco use can help your teeth in the Colgate Oral Care resources.

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Common Conditions During ADULTHOOD

As we get older, dental care for adults is crucial. Here are a few of the conditions to be aware of:

Gum disease – if your home care routine of brushing and flossing has slipped and you have skipped your regular dental cleanings, bacterial plaque and tartar can build up on your teeth. The plaque and tartar, if left untreated, may eventually cause irreparable damage to your jawbone and support structures, and could lead to tooth loss.

Oral cancer – according to the National Institute of Dental and Craniofacial Research, men over the age of 40 have the greatest risk for oral cancer. About approximately 43,000 people will be diagnosed with cancer of the mouth, tongue or throat area, and the ACS estimates that about 7,000 people will die from these cancers. The use of tobacco products and alcohol increases the risk of oral cancer. Most oral cancers are first diagnosed by the dentist during a routine checkup.

Dental fillings break down – fillings have a life expectancy of eight to 10 years. However, they can last 20 years or longer. When the fillings in your mouth start to break down, food and bacteria can get underneath them and can cause decay deep in the tooth.