Maintaining a healthy smile takes a lifetime of care and commitment. It’s crucial to take the right steps every day to take care of your teeth and gums to prevent oral problems. The right care starts with the right products and habits.
Brush Properly: Frequency, Technique, Time, Tools
It is a general recommendation to brush at least twice a day. It is as important in the morning as it is at night before bed.
Frequency is important but even more so is technique. There is an effective way of brushing and less effective methods. For a thorough brushing use a soft-bristled brush, start at your gum line then brush at a 45-degree angle. Brush the inside and outside and top of ALL your teeth and don’t forget about your gums. The motion should be small gentle circles. No need to saw back and forth. In the event you can obtain an electric toothbrush, Sonicare makes a good product that can make you a better personal hygienist.
This may be surprising but brushing for at least two minutes a session is recommended. Use your phone, your favorite song or invest in an electric toothbrush that times it for you. It may seem longer than you would expect but your smile will thank you!
Select a brush with soft bristles and a small to medium-sized head as recommended. Again, electric options can take out needing honed dexterity to clean your mouth. Don’t forget about your tongue, a tongue scraper is a must and works much more effectively at cleaning the tongue papillae than a toothbrush. You’ll be AMAZED about what resides on your tongue! Floss and water pick are integral to a healthy mouth as well. Coarse brushes or ones used longer than you should (three months on average is a good time to change out your brush or brush head with an0. electric one) can damage teeth or more and gum tissue that could even require surgery to fix! “Harder is better” could be your ticket to much more care than is initially needed. Be gentle but thorough.
Come See Us at Least Twice a Year
Your own everyday habits are crucial to your overall oral health. At a minimum, you should see your dentist for cleanings and checkups twice a year. Not only can a dentist remove calculus and look for cavities, but they will also be able to spot potential issues and offer treatment solutions.
Don’t Neglect Your Tongue
Plaque can also build up on your tongue. Again, a tongue scraper should be in everyone’s oral hygiene toolbox. Minimizing odoriferous debris on the tongue can make a big breath change!
Use a Fluoride Toothpaste
While fluoride can be a controversial topic, this substance remains vital in oral health. Fluoride is a leading defense against tooth decay. It works by strengthening and rebuilding tooth enamel. And, as long as its levels are appropriate this naturally occurring mineral can be indispensable to your mouth health.
Flossing Is As Important as Brushing
Flossing once a day is usually enough if you make it a daily habit. Ready-to-use dental flossers, regular floss or an electric water pick do the trick, choose what is easiest for you so you stay committed to the habit.
Mouthwash may not seem like an important component of oral health but it offers more than just fresh breath. Regularly using mouthwash after you brush also reduces acid in the mouth, cleanses the gums, and re-mineralizes the teeth.
Limit Sugary and Acidic Foods
Sugar is converted into acid in the mouth by bacteria leading to enamel erosion which can lead to cavities. Acidic fruits, teas, and coffee can also wear down tooth enamel. It’s not necessary to completely avoid such foods altogether but being aware of how much you consume is a beneficial thing for your oral and overall health.
Drink More Water
Water continues to be the best beverage for your overall health — including oral health. Drinking water after meals can help wash out some of the negative effects of foods and beverages in between brushes. Also, drinking water following the use of some inhaled medications and any vomiting that may occur can rinse harmful residue from the mouth.
Some dental insurance companies even cover more frequent dental checkups. If this is the case for you, take advantage of it. Doing so is especially helpful if you have a history of dental issues, such as gingivitis (gum disease) or frequent cavities.
If you would like to make your next appointment at our office give us a call at 817-920-1488.