Good oral health enables you to eat, speak, and smile! A healthy smile empowers your self-esteem, which can positively affect your performance at work, your ability to build relationships, and even your presence at social events!

While you may only think about these matters when you go to the dentist, dental health really comes to life outside your dentist’s office. While your dental appointments are instrumental in oral health, your daily behaviors actually have the biggest impact on your overall oral health!

Oral diseases cause pain for millions of Americans every single year — but by adopting these seven behaviors, you can look forward to stronger-than-ever oral health.


1. Schedule Your Next Dental Visit

When is your next dentist appointment? If you don’t know, give us a call! It’s widely recommended to visit your dentist at least twice each year for a professional cleaning and exam, as well as any necessary x-rays. This type of consistent preventive care will help catch any dental health issues in their infancy, before they can become full-blown dental emergencies. However, depending on your history with cavities or gum disease, you may want to ask your dentist if you could benefit from more frequent appointments. You can visit this website,, if you want to know more about dentist schedules.


2. Improve Your Brushing

When you’re completing your twice-daily brushing and flossing, it’s critical that you do each task correctly. Your best option is a toothbrush with soft bristles (preferably an electric toothbrush!) because it will gently cleanse your teeth without contributing to any long-term issues like receding gums or enamel loss.

As you brush, move the toothbrush in circular motions and apply medium pressure. The best practice is to brush for two minutes total; it can be helpful to “split” your mouth into four different areas, and dedicate thirty seconds of brushing to each section. Or find a favorite song that will help you track time! And don’t forget flouride: Using a fluoride toothpaste during this process will add an extra layer of protection in your fight against tooth decay.


3. Brush Your Tongue

Brushing your teeth twice daily is great — but don’t forget your tongue! If you don’t also brush your tongue each time, it can continue holding onto a variety of bacteria. In addition to brushing your tongue every time you brush your teeth, adding a tongue scraper into your at-home dental care routine may be helpful. This can help ensure you remove harmful bacteria, while also improving your breath.


4. Use Mouthwash Regularly

You know those hard-to-reach spaces between your teeth, at the back of your mouth, and in the soft tissue of your gums? A mouthwash is one of the most effective ways to help keep those areas clean. Be sure to choose a mouthwash with the ADA Seal of Acceptance on it, because this guarantees that scientific evidence has demonstrated both the safety and effectiveness of the product.

We recommend that you use your mouthwash after you’ve already brushed your teeth and your tongue, and completed your flossing.


5. Quit Smoking and Vaping

Regardless of if you’re exposing your body to cigarettes or vaping, smoking is actually one of the leading causes of both gum disease and oral cancer. These bad habits also cause tooth discoloration, contribute to bad breath, and significantly lower the success rates of dental implants. By quitting smoking – or at least significantly reducing it – you can begin to remedy many of these detrimental dental health effects.


6. Cut Down on Coffee, Cola, and Cabernet

Whether you like your coffee served hot or iced, this dark liquid can cause yellowing and stains that may only be able to be reversed with the help of professional teeth whitening. Coffee also contains acid, which means that the more you’re drinking, the more likely it is to wear down your enamel and, eventually, cause tooth decay. But coffee isn’t the only culprit. Cola and dark sodas, as well as red wine, can cause a similar effect.

If you rely on coffee to get through your busiest days, at least drink your favorite beverage through a straw. This helps minimize the number of teeth that are being exposed to these detrimental effects.


7. Decrease Your Sugar Intake

Whether your so-called “sweet tooth” craves soda, juice, or dessert, the sugar in these items can significantly increase your risk for cavities. Since your mouth’s harmful bacteria feeds off of these acids and sugars, you’re risking an increase in bacterial infections and more cavities in the long run.

If this isn’t a realistic change for your lifestyle, you may experience some dental health benefits by increasing your brushing and flossing routine from twice daily to three times each day to help combat the buildup of plaque and harmful bacteria.


Seek Additional Support

These seven behavioral changes can help make significant positive changes to your overall dental health. If you need help choosing a fluoride toothpaste, are looking to schedule your next dental appointment, or are seeking some tips and tricks for changing your diet, the Rhoades DDS team can help. Take control of your dental health by giving us a call today.