improve oral health

7 Ways to Improve your Oral Health

improve oral healthPoway and Rancho Bernardo, CA

You only have one chance to make a good first impression and, typically, making that impression starts with your smile. Having a smile full of well shaped, bright, white teeth can make you appear both younger and more attractive. The American Academy of Cosmetic Dentistry recently conducted a poll, which found that 96 percent of those surveyed believe an attractive smile makes a person more appealing.

Good dental health goes beyond just looks, however. The mouth is considered the gateway to the body, meaning that problems with your oral health could impact your overall health. Smiles by Dr. Cook offers a wide range of services that can improve the appearance and function of your teeth, but you can follow these seven steps at home to improve your oral health, and in turn, reap the benefits of better overall health.

  1. Brush regularly. Good dental hygiene starts with regular brushing. The American Dental Association recommends that each person brush their teeth twice a day to keep their teeth free of bacteria and to reduce plaque buildup, while also freshening their breath. Be sure to brush with fluoridated toothpaste, but your brushing sessions need to last at least two minutes. If you have difficulty sticking to the full two minutes, consider investing in an electric toothbrush, as many brands are equipped with a built-in timer.
  2. Floss every day. No toothbrush can clean the hard-to-reach spaces between your teeth. To clean these areas floss at least once per day. Your Poway dental hygienists are happy to teach proper flossing technique at one of your regular dental appointments.
  3. Don’t be a stranger. You should see your dentist twice a year—or every six months—for a check-up. These check-ups should entail a professional dental cleaning, diagnostic tests such as X-rays, an oral cancer screening, and an examination of your teeth and mouth to assess overall oral health or document any changes. Certain pre-existing conditions such as pregnancy, diabetes, or immune system deficiency disorders may warrant seeing your dentist more often than the recommended once every six months.
  4. Eat a balanced diet. Good nutrition is crucial to your health, including your mouth and body. Your regular diet should include plenty of dairy and other calcium-rich foods, as well as fruits high in vitamin C. Be sure to choose lots of crunchy fruits and vegetables, which help give your jaws a workout and stimulate the production of saliva, which serves as a natural cleanser for your teeth. Limit your consumption of sugary and sticky foods, including sodas and juice.
  5. Say no to tobacco. A recent study by the Journal of Periodontology found that smokers are four times more likely to have gum disease, which can lead to tooth loss, bone loss, malnutrition and even raise your risk of cardiac disease. Chewing tobacco is not safe either; it significantly increases the risk for oral cancer, which has one of the highest morbidity rates among all types of cancer. If you use tobacco in any form, please try to quit as soon as possible.
  6. Brighten your smile. This is a simple measure, but people who have a bright, white smile also feel more confident and have higher self-esteem. The professional whitening products used at Smiles by Dr. Cook produce beautiful results that last longer than any over-the-counter whitening alternative, while also not causing enhanced sensitivity—an often-reported symptom of store-bought whitening kits.
  7. Better looks, better function. Cosmetic dentistry seeks to improve the appearance of teeth but, in many cases, patients who receive cosmetic work report that their teeth perform at a higher level following the procedures. If you are unhappy with the look of your smile – let’s change it! Cosmetic dentist Dr. Nicol Cook can provide you with a smile that makes you feel confident, and that is more comfortable than the crooked, misshapen teeth that you had before.

Dentist in Poway

Whether you are looking to protect your smile or improve it, Smiles by Dr. Cook can meet your needs. To schedule an appointment, please call (858) 673-0141 or contact Smiles by Dr. Cook today. We welcome patients of Poway and Rancho Bernardo, California.