Your smile is more revealing than you may realize – the way that you smile can hint at your personality, confidence level, and more. It can even reveal your overall health, especially since your dentist can get a good idea of how healthy you are just by checking out your mouth. Keeping your smile clean at home can be the best preventative measure for your health that you can take.

What should my daily routine entail?

To take care of your mouth effectively, you have to develop some important daily habits. Start with focusing on brushing your teeth at least twice a day, for two to three minutes at a time. You should also floss daily in order to reach plaque that your toothbrush misses. Your dentist might recommend daily mouthwash rinses or even special toothpaste that is best for your situation. Make sure you follow your dentist’s instructions when it comes to daily oral care.

What about lifestyle changes?

Keeping your mouth healthy involves more than just regular brushing and flossing. By avoiding cigarettes and other forms of tobacco intake, you are keeping your teeth strong and reducing your chances of developing stains. You can also shift your diet to be focused on obtaining a healthy balance of all of the nutrients that you need, especially vitamins A and C, which promote bone strength and help to prevent gum disease.

How often should I visit the dentist?

You should see the dentist at least once a year for an annual oral examination, although every six months is better. After receiving a thorough and professional cleaning, your dentist can point out problems that you were unaware of, including gum disease and oral cancers. Other diseases, like diabetes, leukemia, pancreatic cancer, and heart and kidney disease can also affect your mouth and cause symptoms such as mouth dryness, sores in the mouth, and inflamed gums. As a result, your dentist can act as a first line of defense when it comes to your health and can refer you to another doctor if a problem is spotted.

If you find yourself experiencing an emergency, whether it’s painful and bleeding gums or a loose or chipped tooth, don’t hesitate to reach out to your dentist and schedule an appointment sooner than you would normally go in for your next visit.