During your dental visits, your dentist will be checking for a variety of dental problems, from cavities to gum disease to oral cancer. You can help make these visits as problem-free as possible by adopting a few healthy dental habits. As the saying goes, “An ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure.”

Brushing & Flossing

These are the most popular instructions given by dentists – for a reason. They are such simple habits to adopt, yet are so effective at keeping teeth healthy. You should be brushing at least twice a day. Doing so keeps your teeth clean of plaque and debris, which, if allowed to accumulate on the surface of your teeth, can lead to gum disease and tooth decay. Flossing should happen every day as well. This helps to remove any debris from in between teeth that your toothbrush may have missed.

A fluoride toothpaste should be a part of your brushing routine as that mineral helps to strengthen tooth enamel and thus helps prevent cavities. Make sure that your toothbrush fits comfortably inside your mouth and that the bristles are not too hard as this can actually do more damage than good for your tooth enamel. Toothbrushes should be replaced every three or four months.

Using Mouthwash

A good mouthwash helps to kill any remaining bacteria on your teeth that may have been missed by brushing and flossing.

Healthy Dieting

Avoid snacking on sugary or starchy foods. Eat plenty of fruits and vegetables along with foods rich in calcium for strong teeth. Also, drink plenty of water!

Avoid Negative Habits Like Smoking & Drinking

Smokers are more likely to develop common dental issues such as periodontal (gum) disease, oral and throat cancers, and oral fungal infection (candidiasis). It is advised that smokers work to quit the habit. Heavy drinking can also increase the risk of developing throat and oral cancers.

Regular Check-Ups from Your Dentist

Even though you may keep up with your oral healthcare routine diligently, thorough dental cleanings are needed every six months. During these cleanings, your hygienist will remove any tartar that may have formed along with dental plaque, and may apply fluoride or dental sealants. Dental visits are also an opportunity to check for oral cancer and evaluate the state of your gum tissue and bite patterns, along with the general state of your oral health.