A high level of hygiene is the best way to maintain optimal oral health. Taking good care of your teeth and gums will help you to prevent gum disease and other oral health issues.
That doesn’t mean you have to spend hours in the bathroom every day. The trick is in knowing the right methods for oral care. Take a look below and discover the seven best practices for having healthy teeth and gums.
1. The Art of Brushing Your Teeth
In oral hygiene, everything starts and ends with washing your teeth. As you may know, the usual practice is to brush your teeth two times per day. By doing so, you will remove any bacteria and plaque, and ensure that your teeth are clean.
Did you know there is a method to brushing your teeth properly? Here are some guidelines that you should follow when brushing:
- Use circular motions and short strokes. The goal is to reach each section of every tooth in your mouth. Avoid using your brush like you would use a saw (which means no quick back and forth movements).
- Always keep a 45-degree angle to the gums. Also, make sure to use gentle presses and avoid brushing aggressively because doing so may damage the gums and tooth enamel.
2. Choose the Right Toothbrush and Toothpaste
The American Dental Association has shared some insights regarding which toothbrush to choose. It doesn’t matter whether you use an electronic or manual brush, but the brush should have soft bristles.
Toothbrushes need to be replaced every three months or so. You can replace yours even sooner if you notice earlier that it’s frayed or matted.
As for the toothpaste, you should stick to one that contains fluoride. According to experts, this chemical substance assists in preventing cavities. It is the reason why you will find it in most toothpaste out there.
Some people think that fluoride is not good for them, which is why they avoid toothpaste containing it. However, there is much research that claims the contrary and indicates that keeping away from fluoride in your pastes may cause tooth decay and other issues even if you are flossing and brushing regularly.
3. Why Flossing Is Important
You may be thorough when brushing your teeth, but there are some spots that, no matter how thorough a job you’ll do, will still remain out of your reach. That is where flossing comes into play.
Flossing will remove any food and debris that is trapped in small gaps between the teeth. Those leftovers can lead to bad breath and cavities, and you surely don’t want that.
When it comes to the right technique, you should push the floss to the gum line, and try to reach the tooth’s side. From there, use upward and downward motions to floss, but be careful not to inflict pain with aggressive moves.
4. Mouthwash Can Be Beneficial, Too
While it may not be as important as brushing and flossing, mouthwash can still benefit your teeth and gum health. The key lies in antibacterial compounds, such as chlorhexidine. They assist in managing gingivitis and plaque.
Essential oils may also be helpful for your oral health when they are a part of a mouthwash. There are a wide variety of flavors to choose from, and these oils will contribute to dealing with bad breath.
5. Regular Dentist Visits
You may think that everything is okay with your teeth, but you should still visit the dentist regularly. That means you should have a checkup at least two times every year.
If you are a regular patient, chances are, most of those visits will be routine exams. During the exams, ex-rays may be taken, and the hygienist will remove any tartar and plaque, and clean your teeth thoroughly.
Regular dentist visits give your dentist a chance to look for problems before they get too big to manage. Your dentist will look for signs of cavities and other issues. In some cases, he may recommend oral surgery and using the oral airway for the temporary management of your airways during the process. Regardless of how complex they may be, detecting a problem on time can be crucial for optimizing and maintaining your oral health.
6. A Proper Diet Can Benefit Your Oral Health
Leading a healthy lifestyle is especially important for oral health, but it’s also necessary for your overall physical health and wellbeing.
Let’s take a look at some tips to keep your oral health intact:
- Avoid foods that are rich in sugar. Your parents might have told you that chocolate will ruin your teeth, and they were right! Try to steer clear of candies whenever possible.
- Starch is bad news, too. Chips, bread, crackers, and pasta may contribute to tooth decay. The reason, again, is sugars, which stick around in your mouth once you finish eating. The bacteria eats away at the sugar, and the tooth it’s on, and this subsequently leads to tooth decay. You can consider replacing starches with fruits, veggies, and dairies that don’t have sugar added.
- No sodas allowed. You probably assumed where we were going with this. Sugary drinks are also not allowed if you want to maximize oral health. Instead of sodas, you can always go with a glass of water or tea.
7. Smoking Ruins Your Teeth
You surely know at least a single smoker whose teeth have changed their color because he smokes so passionately. Aside from causing teeth to look less pretty, tobacco also has compounds which compromise immunity and thereby increase the risk of gum disease.
Additionally, your recovery after an oral procedure could be slower because you are smoking. And we don’t even want to mention the bad odor that cigarettes leave in your mouth.
Caring for your teeth and gums comes down to practices like brushing, flossing and using mouthwash. It also involves keeping a healthy lifestyle and avoiding cigarettes. Regular checkups are necessary to deal with any minor issues before they turn into big dental health problems. Sticking to these tips will ensure that you have healthy teeth and gums for as long as possible!