By   August 15, 2012

Improper care of your teeth is linked to maladies such as gingivitis, halitosis, and even deadly infections. Like most people, you’ve probably learned since childhood that brushing and flossing must be performed multiple times daily. Despite this, so many people struggle with cavities, gum disease, and weakened enamel. Fortunately, there is much you can do to promote a bright, healthy smile.

To help whiten your teeth brush using baking soda. Baking soda is known for its disinfecting and cleaning properties. To use simply sprinkle a small amount of baking soda in your hand and dip your wet toothbrush into the baking soda. Then, gentle brush your teeth for at least two minutes.

Use toothpaste that’s made for teeth that are sensitive if you have that problem. Your teeth may be sensitive if you have problems (discomfort or pain) when eating very cold or very hot foods. It is vital that you discuss this issue with your dental care provider to rule out serious causes.

As tempting as it might be, avoid chewing on ice cubes. Chewing on ice is dangerous and can crack your teeth. Also be careful when chomping on things like nuts and popcorn. If you suspect a cracked tooth, go to the dentist immediately.

It’s important to floss every day. Flossing correctly makes a big difference. Carefully insert the length of floss between your teeth. Gently pull the floss forwards and backwards. Take extra care to avoid cutting your gums while you are flossing. Gently remove any debris found between your teeth.

Don’t assume that all dental floss is the same. There are mint flavored dental flosses. These make flossing a little less unpleasant and help with your breath too. If you have a hard time reaching behind certain teeth, get a bag of plastic flossers that are small handles already strung with floss.

If you are serious about dental hygiene, it is imperative that you stop smoking. Smoking is terrible for your teeth in many ways. It discolors them, and damages your gums too. When your gums don’t get adequate blood supply, you are susceptible to many different health problems such as gum disease.

Drinking soft drinks is not very good for you, but if you are going to have one you should select one that is diet. Those of you that insist on drinking a full-calorie beverage should drinking it rather quickly instead of sipping it since this limits the contact it makes with your teeth.

If you have gum disease, you should postpone any plans to undergo cosmetic dental procedures. For the best results, your teeth and gums must be healthy. Otherwise, you will be more prone to infections, or may need to repeat the procedure. Avoid any dentist who is willing to take a chance on your health by risking this.

Remember that oral hygiene is more than just white teeth and good breath. The mouth is the gateway to the rest of your body. Bacteria and infections that start here can spread to your heart and liver. A growing number of cancers and cardiac issues are being discovered to have their origins in the mouth.

If you have been putting off going to the dentist because you are afraid of what they may find, don’t put it off another day. Tooth problems do not fix themselves. You have to go eventually. If you are afraid of the dentist look for one that offers sedation so that you sleep through the entire visit.

Your oral health is damaged by chewing tobacco and smoking. Cigarettes and chewing tobacco can cause cancer and damages teeth and gums. Tobacco can cause cancer in your mouth, even if you don’t smoke it.

If you suffer from diabetes, good dental hygiene is essential. People with diabetes have an elevated risk of developing gum or periodontal disease. This disease damages the bones and gums that keep your teeth in place and leads to pain. Some people that have a periodontal disease that’s advanced will lose some teeth. Gum disease might also mess with your blood sugar levels, so be sure you care for your gums and see the dentist often.

If you need to have a dental procedure, try not to stress out about it. Many people avoid visiting the dentist because they are afraid of what the dentist may say, or what may need to be done. If you avoid going to the dentist, you may end up with bigger problems than what you originally had.

Avoid foods and drinks that stain your teeth. This will help keep your teeth white for a longer time. If you do consume foods or drinks that will stain your teeth, brush immediately afterwards. You can also use over the counter teeth whitening methods or professional whitening to keep your teeth white.

Avoid sweet sticky foods. Foods such as taffy, caramels and soft candies will stick to your teeth and cause cavities. If you want to occasionally enjoy these sweet treats, immediately brush and floss your teeth after eating them. Brushing and flossing immediately after eating these sticky foods will protect your teeth from cavities.

Another key to effective dental care revolves around the proper storage of the toothbrush itself. This may seem like a small thing, but making sure the brush is thoroughly rinsed after use and stored upright so it can air dry is essential in order to stave off the growth of potentially harmful bacteria.

Do what you can to keep your mouth fresh. To check your breath’s freshness, try licking your palm and smelling it while it’s wet. If there’s a smell, try grabbing a breath mint that’s sugar-free. If you need a mouthwash to combat this issue, look for an alcohol-free mouthwash. Many of the over-the-counter varieties contain too much alcohol. This dries out your mouth and leaves it susceptible to harmful bacteria.

Make your dentist, orthodontist, and periodontist proud by taking your oral hygiene regimen to the next level. Although it is undeniably empowering to have an attractive smile, you must remember that dental health goes beyond cosmetic matters. With the insights from this article, you can work toward healthier teeth and gums.