Posted June 28, 2010.

Let’s face it. Life can be crazy and hectic. But having a busy schedule is not an excuse for neglecting your oral hygiene. All it takes is a few minutes of your day to fight against tooth decay and plaque. Simple brushing and flossing can go a long way to keeping your smile healthy. Combined with healthy eating, gum disease prevention and routine visits to your Woburn dentist, you can ensure your smile looks and feels it’s very best for a lifetime.

Step 1: Brush Your Teeth Daily

It seems obvious, right? While brushing your teeth seems like a mundane task, failing to give your teeth the attention they need and deserve each and every day can lead to tooth decay, bad breath, tooth discoloration and gum disease.

Brush your teeth at least twice a day with fluoride toothpaste. Use a soft-bristled brush to gently clean all sides of the teeth, and remember to brush your tongue and along the gumline. When your toothbrush starts to look worn, or after three months, toss your old toothbrush for a new one. Ask your Woburn dentist for the best brushing techniques and the most appropriate toothbrush for your teeth.

Step 2: Don’t Forget to Floss

Don’t underestimate the importance of flossing. Flossing regularly ensures your penetrating those hard-to-reach areas between the teeth and along the gumline to remove food particles that a tooth brush can’t. Failing to floss properly and regularly allows plaque to build-up, eventually turning to tartar- a hard substance that can only be removed by your dentist. With time, bacteria accumulate within the tartar, leading to gingivitis and eventually progressing to gum disease.

Not sure about the proper methods for flossing? Talk to your Woburn dentist for easy tips and techniques. Coupled with good brushing, you can help eliminate the harmful bacteria that lead to bad breath, tooth decay and gum disease.

Step 3: Eat a Well-Balanced Diet

Just as eating nutritional foods is good for your body, it’s equally as important for your teeth and gums. Avoid excessive snacking between meals- especially sugary or starchy foods. And limit your amount of soda intake as even diet soda contains harmful acids that can erode tooth enamel. Foods rich in calcium, fluoride, and vitamins will keep you teeth strong and stunning. As a general rule, if it’s bad for your body, then it’s probably bad for you mouth as well.

Step 4: Monitor Your Gums

Tender, swollen and red gums; gums that bleed easily; and persistent bad breath are all common warning signs of gum disease- an infection of the tissues and bones that surround and support the teeth. Getting to your dentist as soon as signs of infected gums are detected is the best way to ensure a quick and full recovery. Luckily gum disease can be treated at all stages, and even more importantly, easily be prevented with good oral hygiene, a well-balanced diet and regular visits to your dentist.

Step 5: Visit Your Dentist

One of the most essential steps for achieving a healthy smile is to visit your dentist in Woburn for routine check ups and cleanings- usually twice a year. During your regular visits, your dentist will look for signs of diseases, infections, injuries, oral cancer and other dental problems that she is trained to detect. The earlier a problem is identified, the more effectively your dentist can administer the appropriate treatment.

Being proactive about your personal dental care is the best way to combat harmful plaque and bacteria from accumulating on your teeth and gums. Start by improving your brushing and flossing, paying extra attention to the hard to reach areas between the teeth and along the gumline. Modify your diet and be more cautious of how often and how much of certain foods you are eating. Monitoring the health of your gums is also important as gum disease is a common and very serious issue that can have far-reaching consequences. And finally, keep up-to-date with appointments to your Woburn family dentist as she can detect dental problems in their earliest stages to keep your teeth their very best for a lifetime.