It is essential that we understand the importance of proper oral care and dental hygiene. Establishing good habits that promote a healthy mouth and gums is paramount to our overall health. We all know about brushing and flossing, but there are so many additional factors to be mindful of daily that can compromise our dental health. The following are 10 things that you can do every day to promote better oral care.
- Brush Your Teeth
Make sure that you brush your teeth at least twice a day. Brushing after eating meals is especially ideal. When brushing your teeth, use a fluoride-based toothpaste that will promote healthy tooth enamel. You should spend a full two minutes brushing your teeth, dedicating adequate attention to each quadrant of your mouth. Make sure that you aim your brush at a 45-degree angle along the gum line in order to help loosen built-up plaque and prevent tartar from forming.
- Choose the Right Toothbrush
So many kinds of toothbrushes are available, varying from the size of brush heads, bristle texture, and even options for electronic devices. When you choose a toothbrush, you want to make sure that you choose a brush that alleviates any pressure against the teeth and gums and that does not irritate your mouth. In some cases, a toothbrush intended for those with sensitive teeth and gums may be more effective. Also, when deciding between a traditional and electronic toothbrush, it’s a matter of personal choice. With proper technique, a traditional toothbrush will do a proper job of cleaning your teeth. However, electronic toothbrushes can sometimes offer a more efficient cleaning with less effort.
For proper oral care, flossing is essential to incorporate into your oral care routine daily. Flossing helps to clear debris that the bristles of a toothbrush cannot reach between your teeth. In addition to clearing out dental plaque and preventing tartar from building up, flossing helps to promote proper gum health by strengthening gum tissue and helping reduce the risk of gum disease or infection.
- Clean Your Tongue
Some people may have the most meticulous oral care habits, but they forget the one essential step of cleaning their tongue. To clean your tongue, you can gently brush over the surface with your toothbrush, or you can purchase a separate tongue scraper to do the same job. Cleaning your tongue will remove further bacteria, debris, and toxins from your mouth. This also helps to eliminate dead cells while promoting the growth of new ones. Think of cleaning your tongue as a kind of exfoliation technique for the inside of your mouth.
After brushing and flossing, taking the time to rinse out your mouth with a medicated or antiseptic rinse is an appropriate action to take in order to clear out any remaining debris. Using a mouthwash or medicated rinse will remove any further bacteria and help keep your breath fresh throughout the day.
- Chew Sugar-Free Gum
This is not to say that chewing gum is an absolute must in your daily routine. However, if you are prone to chewing gum throughout the day, make sure that it is sugar free. When you chew gum, the salivary glands inside your mouth become activated. As a result, you further help remove the acids that remain after eating food and prevent additional bacteria and dental plaque from building up on the surface of your teeth. Chewing sugar-free gum, especially after meals when brushing is not an option, helps protect the tooth enamel and consequently reduces the risk of tooth decay and the formation of cavities.
- Avoid Staining Foods
If you want to maintain a white smile, many foods run the risk of placing your pearly whites in jeopardy. Coffee, tea, soda, wine, and artificially-colored foods tend to be the biggest contributors to staining perfectly white teeth. If you are consuming liquids, try to avoid coating your entire mouth and swishing the liquid around your teeth. Drinking with a straw can often prevent staining from becoming an issue. If you know that some of these food items tend to make it into your daily diet, try to cut back on your consumption of these tooth-staining culprits.
- Avoid Acidic Foods
Foods with a high acid content can also compromise the health of your teeth. Citrus fruits, soda, alcohol, tomato products, pickled foods, and even the lactic acid in dairy can damage teeth over time. Acidic foods can be responsible for tooth erosion, slowly wearing away at tooth enamel and making your teeth more prone to decay and dental cavities.
- Drink Plenty of Water
Many sources of drinking water are reinforced with trace elements of fluoride, which promotes stronger tooth enamel. Furthermore, water keeps you hydrated, keeps your mouth from drying out, and serves to cleanse the palate when consuming foods and other beverages. Whenever you eat a meal or snack, make sure to wash it down with a full glass of water in order to help protect your teeth.
- Do Not Clench Your Teeth
When stressed out, some people inadvertently clench their teeth together throughout the day. In some cases, people can even clench their teeth and grind them at night without even knowing. Clenching your teeth puts unnecessary stress and pressure on both the teeth and the jawline. What’s more, over time, clenching can result in eroded tooth enamel, chipped or fractured teeth, headaches and tenderness along the jawline, and an imbalanced bite. If you are aware of a bad clenching habit or you suspect that you are clenching your teeth at night when you sleep, speak with your dentist to receive a custom-made mouthguard in addition to other strategies that can help prevent your teeth from this damaging habit.
Implantation Dental Center all our patients to establish and maintain a healthy oral care routine. If you suspect something is awry regarding the health of your teeth and gums, get in touch with our award-winning periodontists to schedule an appointment. We are happy to assist our patients with all of their dentistry needs.