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Sometimes we suffer from accidents or dental trauma that radically damage our smiles in a short period of time. More frequently, however, dental damage accumulates and compounds over time; we may not notice that our teeth are subtly changing until the damage has become severe.

Today our Saint Louis dentists are sharing some tips and suggestions on how to care for your smile and minimize your risk of dealing with dental damage in the future. Let’s get started.

The number one thing you can do is to follow all of your dentist’s recommendations regarding at-home and in-office dental care. Plaque and tartar will wreak havoc on your smile if left unchecked.

Next, you want to make sure that you are staying hydrated and drinking plenty of water every day. When you are well-hydrated, your body is able to produce enough of saliva, and saliva is your body’s natural way of combating bacteria and re-mineralizing enamel. In the same vein, seek treatment for dry mouth if necessary, as chronic dry mouth increases your risk of developing cavities, gum disease, and bad breath.

Here’s a quick tip: try getting into the habit of rinsing your mouth with water after you eat or drink anything other than water. Not only does rinsing your mouth jump-start saliva production, it also helps to clear away the dental debris and food particles on which oral bacteria feed.

When you do get something stuck between your teeth—it happens to all of us—do not use sharp wooden or metal instruments to pick at your smile. Rather, clean between your teeth using gentle and effective floss. Picking at your smile can damage your oral tissues and cause micro-cracks in your enamel.

Our Saint Louis dentists are happy to provide you with any additional information and guidance that you may need. You can always call our office to speak to a member of our staff, or use the Contact Us page on our site to submit a question and we’ll be happy to get back to you.

Our Saint Louis dentists hear many questions from concerned dental patients about whether or not it is important to use mouthwash or mouth rinses. As with most thing in dentistry, the answer depends on your unique situation: the state of your smile and your oral health goals. Today we are reviewing some helpful information about incorporating rinses into your daily oral hygiene routine.

When it comes to rinsing your smile, there is one habit that can benefit pretty much every dental patient. If you find that you are struggling to maintain a fresh and clean mouth throughout the day, try to start rinsing your mouth with water after you eat and/or drink something other than water. Just take a moment to vigorously swish clean water around your mouth so as to dislodge dental debris and promote saliva production.

If you are looking for a specially-formulated mouth rinse, talk to your dental team about what kinds of ingredients are appropriate for your smile. Some mouthwashes, for example, contain fluoride, which helps enamel re-mineralize and stay strong. Another consideration is whether or not to use a mouth rinse that contains alcohol; alcohol helps to freshen your mouth, but some patients find it drying. There are also mouth rinses that have ant-plaque and oxidizing properties.

In general, the best time to use a mouthwash is as the final step in your oral hygiene routine. First you floss, then you brush, and then you use a mouthwash to rinse away any debris and coat your mouth with any oral-health-enhancing ingredients.

If you have questions about adding a mouth rinse into your daily oral hygiene routine, you can always contact our Saint Louis dentists to get more information and schedule a consultation. Together we can help you achieve and maintain a healthy smile for years to come!

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