Yep, I knew what I was doing when I wrote the title of this message. You see, I'm not just talking about your mouth's wisdom teeth, I'm talking about having the wisdom you'll need to take good care of all of your teeth. Hey, I want you to keep that gleaming smile of yours for life. But, in order to do that, you've got to have a little wisdom about proper tooth care. And today, I've got a few suggestions for your doing just that. Beginning with...
The ideal frequency for brushing your teeth is three times a day.
BRUSHING. Oh, that's an easy one, right? The biggest tooth-brushing mistake most people make is using the wrong type of toothbrush. Bristles that are too stiff can aggravate your gums. The American Dental Association, (ADA), recommends a soft-bristled toothbrush. And according to the ADA, the ideal frequency for brushing your teeth is three times a day. Don't fall into the trap of thinking "more is better." That's because brushing too often or too hard can expose the roots of your teeth and gums to irritation and can also erode tooth enamel. Brush your teeth gently each session for 2-3 minutes.
FLOSSING. You brush three times daily and see your dentist twice a year. So what's the big deal if you aren't so regular about your flossing? Well, plenty! Daily flossing is actually one of the single most important things you can do to prevent periodontal disease, (which affects more than 50% of adults), and tooth loss. Flossing helps remove plaque and food particles missed by brushing alone that get stuck between your teeth and along the gum line. And, oh yeah, it also helps to prevent bad breath! (Now there's a nice little bonus, huh? LOL.)
SOFT DRINKS. Sugar-sweetened beverages, such as sodas are loaded with sugar, putting you at a greater risk for cavities, tooth decay and gum infection. Diet sodas don't completely get you off the hook, either. Whether you drink regular or sugar-free sodas, you're bathing your teeth in an acidic environment and dark-colored sodas, like colas can, over time, stain your teeth. For better tooth-health and better health, period...try to limit soda consumption, regular or sugar-free.
60% of all tap water in the United States contains fluoride.
BOTTLED WATER. Now, get ready for a little surprise. If you're very conscientious about staying hydrated, (and you should be), you may keep a bottled water with you all the time, especially during these hot summer months. But here's the surprise. That bottled water may not be helping you maintain healthier teeth. Did you know that 60% of all tap water in the United States contains fluoride? And why is that worth noting?Well, because fluoride makes your teeth more resistant to decay, supporting better dental health. If you exclusively drink bottled water, you may be missing out on this important protection for your teeth.
SMOKING. If this habit weren't bad enough for your overall health, there's more bad news about what it can mean for your teeth. Smoking turns your teeth yellow, forms a sticky film, can harbor bacteria, cause tooth decay and even lead to tooth loss. It gets worse because, as you may already know, smoking can also lead to throat, lung and mouth cancers that can all be fatal. QUIT SMOKING!
So, are you feeling wiser? I hope so. Because like I said, I want you to keep that pretty smile of yours all of your life. And you can help do it by having more wisdom about how to take proper care of your teeth!