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At West Vancouver Dental, Dr. Melany and her friendly and professional staff want nothing more than to help their patients maintain and improve their oral health.  Considering how important healthy teeth and gums are to your ability to eat, speak, and smile, it should be easy to get excited about practicing quality oral health habits. However, Dr. Melany understands that not all of her patients know the best practices for taking care of their oral health. With that in mind, here are a few helpful tips that will keep your teeth looking their best.

Brush Away

Brushing and flossing daily is the only way you can ensure your teeth and gums remain healthy and strong. Failure to brush allows plaque, a sticky bacteria that lives in your mouth, to build up. Every time you eat or drink something, plaque begins producing acids that slowly eat away at your teeth’s enamel. Given enough time, plaque can cause gum disease and tooth decay. Brushing after meals washes away harmful plaque and removes lingering food particles from your teeth and gums.

Flossing daily is also an important part of practicing good oral health. Flossing helps to remove food that gets trapped in-between your teeth that your brush can’t reach. Not flossing allows those trapped food particles to linger, which could contribute to bad breath once they begin to decay. It always makes sense to floss prior to brushing, but if  you can’t brush or floss following each meal, take the time to thoroughly rinse your mouth with water.

Ax the Anxiety

Dr. Melany appreciates that to some patients, the idea of sitting down in a dentist’s chair makes them feel a little uncomfortable. That’s why at West Vancouver Dental, we offer patients a soothing and relaxing atmosphere. And Dr. Melany and her compassionate staff always provide a gentle touch and a willingness to listen to a patient’s concerns. If you feel stressed out while at the dentist, try bringing a pair of headphones and some soothing music to listen to during your procedure. Instead of anxiously holding your breath while sitting in the dentist’s chair, focus on taking deep, steady breaths to help to reduce anxiety. Remember to ask any questions you have prior to beginning a procedure, and always feel free to address any concerns you may have with Dr. Melany or her staff.

Know When to Say Goodbye

The most valuable tool you have in the fight against gum disease and tooth decay is your toothbrush. However, even the best tools eventually wear out. When your toothbrush’s bristles become frayed, flattened, and worn out due to use, the time has come for a replacement to step in. The American Dental Association recommends that you replace a toothbrush every three to four months, or before if it begins to show excessive wear. If you use an electric toothbrush, follow the manufacturer’s recommendations about when to change the head.

Say Cheese

Cheese contains casein and whey protein, both of which can help to prevent wear on your teeth’s enamel by reducing demineralization. Cheese also contains an abundance of calcium, which helps keep your teeth and bones strong. To ensure your body absorbs plenty of calcium, make sure your diet includes plenty of foods that contain vitamin D, such as fish, milk, and egg yolk.

Stain Fighter

Certain foods and drinks, like blueberries, red wine, and coffee, can stain your teeth a darker color. To prevent your teeth from becoming permanently darker, take the time to brush after consuming these types of items whenever possible. If you don’t have the chance to brush, thoroughly rinse your mouth with water.

Tongue Depressor

If you suffer from frequent bad breath, the culprit could be the bacteria that grows on your tongue. While brushing, take the time to give your tongue a scrubbing to help remove any foul smelling bacteria. A tongue scrapper will also help to remove any odor-causing compounds.

If you have any questions about the health of your teeth and gums, please feel free to aks Dr. Melany or any one of her friendly staff during your next appointment. And be sure to check back here for more blog posts that feature helpful tips about your oral health.

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