Taking care of oral health is more than just good dental care at home. It also including practicing good, consistent hygiene habits and making wise choices daily to protect the longevity of the jaw. Although brushing and flossing is one of the best ways to protect the smile, our oral surgeon in Northern Virginia has some tips that can improve oral health all the way down to the bone.

Good Habits Enforce a Healthy Smile

The jaw is a sensitive machine, and it’s important to practice good habits to reverse the effects of normal wear and tear as well as combat the effects of negative habits. Here are some good habits to follow for improved jaw health:

Eat and Drink Healthy: Drinking water as opposed to sodas, coffee, or alcoholic beverages will leave the mouth cleaner. Sugary and alcoholic beverages encourages bacteria to grow in the teeth and gums. If left alone, this bacteria will decay the teeth and jaw. Eating healthy foods will also contribute to the cleanliness of the teeth and jaws, strengthening the jaw muscles to do exactly what they’re supposed to. Chewing gum is not recommended, as it puts undue stress on the jaw muscles.

Besides eating and drinking, it’s important to protect the jaw from other potential diseases. The chances of developing oral cancer when smoking or chewing tobacco are significantly higher, and cutting down on these habits will reduce inflammation and gum disease in the mouth. Nicotine and alcohol have adverse effects on the mouth, and research has even found that e-cigarettes and vaping aren’t good for the mouth either.

Relax Facial Muscles with Treatment: Many Americans suffer from TMD, where the jaw muscles are tight and do not function properly. This is often due to bruxism, or teeth grinding. This can happen unconsciously at night, or during the day. Bruxing at night wears down teeth, leading to fractures and cracks that can have long-term effects on the smile. The grinding motion also makes the muscles tight from the jaw to the neck.

Treatments for bruxism include oral appliances like night guards, which will protect the teeth from breaking and force the jaws to relax at night time. These are also important for sports and activities where the jaws and teeth can get damaged. Many oral surgeons prescribe the mouth guards and have them custom-fit to each patient’s mouth.

Call Lorton, Springfield Oral Surgeons for Great Jaw Health

Call one of our offices today to receive an examination for your smile. If you are experiencing tight jaw muscles, or your mouth feels uncomfortable, please contact us today. 703-436-4633