Healthy teeth: How to keep your smile ‘young’

Portrait of a senior woman smiling

Practicing healthy dental habits doesn’t have to be tedious and complicated. In fact, keeping your teeth healthy and white — and looking and feeling young — can be done without any costly products or elaborate routines.

How do you keep your teeth healthy?

Keeping your teeth healthy can be as simple as enforcing four key habits:

  1. Brush your teeth twice daily with a fluoride toothpaste.
  2. Floss or clean your teeth with a water flosser once a day.
  3. Eat a healthy diet. Due to age, medical conditions, activity level and other relevant factors, a “healthy diet” can constitute a various array of nutritional plans. It’s important to determine a diet that best serves your individual needs.
  4. See your dentist regularly. Generally, it’s recommended to go every six months, but you and your dentist can determine the appropriate interval to achieve your best oral health.

While many health issues are out of our control, we have an influence over maintaining proper oral hygiene.

How do you keep your teeth white?

Clean teeth are generally white teeth. However, certain foods, drinks and habits can cause superficial staining that comes off with regular brushing and visits to the dentist.

Keeping up with the recommended dental habits will allow your teeth to stay white, clean and healthy.

What to do when your teeth are aging

Are teeth-whitening procedures safe?

Before investing in teeth-whitening procedures and products, it is important to make sure your teeth are healthy. If you have preexisting issues like cavities or gum disease, you might find that whitening procedures increase sensitivity.

Once you consult with your dentist, you can formulate a plan based on your dental goals. Whitening strips can be used for a simple, at-home procedure, while office whitening systems including veneers and crowns can be used for a more intensive, long-lasting treatment.

How do you brush and floss efficiently?

At least once a day, you should brush your teeth for two to four minutes.

It’s important to brush every surface of the tooth. Often, we brush the top of our teeth while neglecting to effectively cover the other surfaces. The front and back of every tooth should both be thoroughly brushed, followed up with a flossing routine to clean between the teeth and underneath the gum line.

It’s also recommended to brush your tongue and rinse your mouth one final time with water or mouthwash.

Do you recommend any dental care products to keep your teeth young?

A manual toothbrush and floss are perfectly suitable to help you maintain proper oral hygiene, but if you’re looking for alternative products, there are plenty of safe, recommended tools that can assist in cleaning your teeth:

  • Mechanical toothbrush
  • Water flosser
  • Tongue scraper

What habits can hurt the health of your teeth?

Using your teeth as tools to open containers or rip materials can cause damage.

Chewing ice can wear down at your enamel and potentially cause a tooth to break.

If you notice any abnormalities or potential issues in your mouth, it’s best to consult with your dentist as soon as possible.

Can you repair damaged teeth? If so, what can you do?

While our teeth enamel doesn’t have a reparative nature, your dentist can suggest treatment options and methods to help repair damaged teeth, including composite, or tooth-colored filling material, dental amalgam (silver-colored filling material), crowns, veneers or implants.

Healthy teeth start here

Ohio State offers complete general and specialty dental care, including emergency care for patients of all ages.

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