Good oral hygiene habits are not difficult, time consuming, or costly. In fact, especially if started young, they will pay off in spades. Your natural teeth will remain healthy and you will be spared hours of pain and any number of expensive and invasive dental procedures as you grow older.

Want to know how to keep your smile in tip-top shape for life? Read on — and don’t forget to schedule your next checkup with Jeffersonville Smiles of Jeffersonville, IN. Call our office today at 812-913-6093 (Jeffersonville) 812-884-8304 (New Albany) 502-430-3451 (St. Matthews) .

Don’t Be a Stranger . . .

. . . at the dentist’s office. One of the best things you can do to keep your and your children’s mouths healthy is to keep a strict schedule of twice-yearly dental visits. No matter how well you take care of your teeth at home, there are some places (like between teeth) that your toothbrush just can’t reach.

Plus, through the dentist’s expert eye and diagnostic tools like X-rays, we are able to spot issues before you even notice symptoms. And, like with many things, the sooner we catch dental problems, the easier they are to treat.

Brush. Floss. Brush. Floss. Brush. Floss.

Don’t neglect the basics. This may seem obvious, but sometimes we’re rushed in the morning or tired at night and it can be tempting to skip the routine just this once. Don’t do it. And don’t let your children do it. Instill in them from an early age the importance of brushing at least twice per day and flossing every day. We know mornings can be harried, so get the family into a set routine that includes plenty of time for oral care built in. If you have very young children who are reluctant to brush, make it into a game or designate a special tooth-brushing song.

Don’t Smoke

You already know you shouldn’t smoke, right? Well, cancer, emphysema, and heart disease aside, we can give you a couple more reasons why smoking (and smokeless tobacco) is bad for you. If you use tobacco, you are two times more likely to develop gum disease than a nonuser. Gum disease not only leads to pain, tissue deterioration, and tooth loss, but is associated with numerous systemic diseases as well. And gum disease treatments tend to be less effective with smokers.

Plus: smoking leads to bad breath and discolored teeth. Who wants that?

Drink Lots of Water

Toss aside the sodas, juices, sports drinks, and other sweet beverages. If you want to drink to  your teeth, raise a glass of water. Whereas sugary beverages promote the growth of decay-causing bacteria, regular gulps of plain ol’ H2O wash away microbes and bits of food stuck in your teeth. Drinking water is one of the best things you can do to keep your teeth clean between brushings.  

Ditch Sweet and Chewy Snacks

“Fruit snacks” may sound healthy, but in reality, they are just sugar in a form perfect for getting stuck in the teeth. And when sugar gets stuck in the teeth, that is a breeding ground for harmful bacteria. Other deceptively non-tooth-friendly culprits include fruit leather, soft granola bars, and even raisins!

Choose Tooth-Friendly Foods

As a general rule, foods that are rich in nutrients are good for your oral health and overall health. But there are some foods that are especially beneficial to your teeth. Milk, eggs, cheese, and yogurt are excellent sources of calcium, which helps keep bones and teeth strong. Cheese also contains casein, a protein that’s good for tooth enamel. Phosphorus is another enamel-boosting mineral. It is found in meat, fatty fishes, and tofu.

Raw, crunchy vegetables like carrots and celery make your teeth work a bit — and that’s a good thing. These foods stimulate the flow of saliva, which helps keep teeth clean and scrubbed.

Take care of your teeth at home, visit the dentist regularly, and you are setting yourself up for a lifetime of good oral health. To schedule a checkup at our Jeffersonville, IN dental office, call 812-913-6093 (Jeffersonville) 812-884-8304 (New Albany) 502-430-3451 (St. Matthews) or fill out our online form.