Home maintenance is just as important as going to the dentist. If you’re not feeling well to go visit your dentist, try these dental tips to help you keep your teeth healthy.
• Brush your teeth: brush your teeth twice (x2) daily with a soft toothbrush. Using a soft toothbrush will remove harmful plaque and prevent damage to the gums.
• Floss Daily: regular flossing helps to remove plaque that your toothbrush can’t remove. Flossing your teeth removes harmful food particles which cause your teeth to become rotten.
• Fluoride toothpaste: use toothpaste with fluoride to prevent rotten teeth.
• Fluoride rinses/mouthwashes: a fluoride mouthwash that doesn’t contain alcohol will help to prevent rotten teeth and also wash away any unwanted food trapped in the mouth. Rinsing your mouth with a fluoride mouthwash can enhance your tooth brushing and flossing. It is important that you don’t replace tooth brushing and flossing with mouth rinsing. Teeth have to be brushed and flossed twice daily.
• Eat Healthy: A healthy diet is not only good for your body but good for your teeth too. Avoid sugary food such as fizzy drinks, sweets, chips and chocolates. Snack on fresh fruits and vegetables and drink plenty of water. Drinking water will help your mouth stay moist, especially with medicines which can make your mouth dry.
• Don’t smoke: Smoking is harmful when you have HIV. When you smoke your body and your mouth won’t be able to heal properly and fight off harmful infections. Smoking causes an increase in plaque build-up, damages your throat and causes many gum problems.
• Daily checks: daily check ups in front of the mirror are important so that you can notice any signs of problems and changes in your mouth. After you brush and floss your teeth check your tongue, under your tongue, palate, gums, teeth, throat and the insides of your cheeks for problems. If you notice any thing different, get it checked out with your dentist immediately. A healthy mouth will make you feel good and your body feel good too. You can live a healthy life with HIV. Don’t forget to keep your mouth healthy and visit your dentist every three or six months. Your mouth and your body will thank you.