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When people talk about habits, we tend to think of the bad variety–like smoking or eating too much. But good habits that are helpful and healthy should be applauded and promoted. One of the best habits you can get into is a good oral health routine.

A plethora of common dental problems can be eliminated by practicing good oral hygiene every day. This will benefit your orthodontic process, so you don’t have to worry about repairing your smile around braces or taking them off for certain procedures. Here are some easy habits to follow for healthy teeth.

Brushing and Flossing Every Day
At a minimum, you should be brushing at least twice a day with a soft-bristled toothbrush and a toothpaste that contains fluoride. Gently scrub around the gumline where plaque can build-up to rid your teeth of food and bacteria. On top of that, you need to floss once a day to get to the places the brush cannot. Be sure to buy a new toothbrush when the bristles fray–usually around 3-4 months.

Healthy Eating
Staying away from sugars and starches and increasing the intake of fruits and vegetables not only helps to maintain a healthy weight, but it also stimulates the flow of saliva which protects against tooth decay.

Regular Dental Check-ups and Cleaning
To identify dental problems before they become serious it is important to visit your dentist frequently. Twice a year (every 6 months) is the standard. Be sure to come in for your orthodontic check-ups as well to ensure your smile to aligning the way it is supposed to, and we can look for signs of tooth decay as well.

Limit Alcohol
Studies show that heavy drinking is related to cancer of the mouth and throat. If you drink alcohol, seek balance and limit your consumption.

Avoid Tobacco Products
Using any type of tobacco product: cigarettes, pipes, cigars, and chewing tobacco increases the risk of periodontal (gum) disease, not to mention many types of oral and throat cancer.

If you are interested in learning more about your oral health, call Dr. Stacee Burson for more information. Please contact Orthodontics by Dr. Burson to make an appointment at 903-334-8080, or come by our office in Texarkana, Magnolia, or De Queen, Texas.