Everyone has a different way of oral hygiene, but we wanted to give you a few tips that you may consider if they are not already in your normal day-to-day life. The CDC has great tips regarding oral hygiene that goes in-depth with certain foods and drinks.
Brush Your Teeth Twice a Day for Two Minutes with Fluoride Toothpaste
Why is fluoride toothpaste beneficial for proper oral hygiene? Fluoride helps to remineralize teeth, strengthening enamel and reducing the risk of cavities. You want to protect enamel because once it’s gone, it doesn’t come back. Enamel is like the protective layer that keeps teeth healthy and strong. Drinks and foods that can harm enamel are acidic. If you drink or eat acidic foods, it’s best to rinse your mouth with water or chew sugar-free gum afterward. This will help neutralize the acidity and protect teeth from erosion.
Consider using a tongue scraper as part of your oral hygiene routine. Tongue scrapers can help remove bacteria that builds up on the tongue over time, leading to bad breath and other dental problems like cavities.
Floss Once a Day
Flossing is an important step in keeping teeth healthy and strong. Flossing helps remove plaque buildup between teeth where toothbrushes can’t reach. For the best results, floss at least once a day before brushing your teeth in the morning or evening before going to bed. According to the University of Illinois Chicago, flossing can reduce the risk of gum disease.
Different types of floss achieve different results. The type you use will depend on your oral hygiene needs and preferences. Waxed floss is better for those with tight teeth, while unwaxed floss is better for those with wide gaps between their teeth. There are free string floss and floss picks that are easier to use than traditional floss. You can also use an oral irrigator, which is a water-based device that helps remove plaque and food debris from hard-to-reach places in the mouth. You use an oral irrigator by pointing the nozzle at your teeth and gums and turning it on.
Eat a Balanced Diet and Limit Sugary Snacks
Eating a balanced diet can help promote good oral health. Foods that are high in vitamins and minerals such as fruits, vegetables, and dairy products can help strengthen teeth and gums. Try to limit sugary snacks as these can cause cavities. If you do eat sugary snacks, make sure to brush your teeth afterward.
Concerning foods to stay away from and why are:
Candy – Eating sugary candy can cause cavities as the sugar will stay on your teeth and provide a food source for bacteria to grow.
Sticky foods – Sticky foods like dried fruit or caramels can get stuck in between your teeth and be hard to remove with just brushing. These sticky foods can lead to plaque buildup, which increases the risk of gum disease.
Citrus fruits – Citrus fruits are very acidic and can erode enamel over time, leading to tooth sensitivity and other issues. If you do eat citrus fruits, make sure to rinse your mouth with water afterward.
Maintaining a healthy relationship with these food groups can lead to dental success.
Use a Mouthwash to Kill Germs and Freshen Your Breath
Using good mouthwash is essential for keeping your oral hygiene in check. It helps kill germs and freshens breath as well as removes food particles left behind after brushing and flossing. The American Dental Association recommends that you use an antimicrobial or fluoride mouthwash to reduce the risk of tooth decay and gum disease. Make sure to rinse with mouthwash at least once a day, preferably in the morning after brushing or before bedtime.
Top mouthwashes have been noted to contain ingredients like xylitol, cetylpyridinium chloride, and essential oils to help fight bacteria and freshen your breath. Artificial sweeteners like saccharin or sorbitol may also be present to make the mouthwash taste better. Ingredients to stay away from in your mouthwash are alcohol, which can be drying to the mouth and lead to bad breath, and food coloring which may leave a residue on your teeth.
See your dentist for regular checkups and cleanings
Regular visits to the dentist are important for maintaining oral hygiene and health. During your visit, your dentist will examine for any signs of cavities, gum disease, or other dental problems. Your hygienist may also do a cleaning to remove plaque buildup that can cause tooth decay and gum disease.
It’s recommended to visit the dentist every six months for a thorough checkup and cleaning. This is especially important if you have any pre-existing conditions like diabetes or high blood pressure as they can put you at higher risk of developing dental problems. Seeing your dentist regularly will help ensure that any issues are caught early before they become more serious.
Your smile is important – so don’t neglect it! Taking care of your teeth and gums with these five steps will help keep them healthy and strong. Following a regular oral hygiene routine can also reduce the risk of developing serious dental problems like gum disease, cavities, and tooth loss. Adopting and maintaining these habits is the best way to ensure that you have a healthy smile for years to come.