By following these oral health tips, you can maintain healthy teeth and gums for life.
1. Brush twice a day, for at least two minutes.
For good oral hygiene, you will want to brush your teeth at least two times a day, ideally in the morning and before bed, for at least two minutes each time. Start with your brush at a 45-degree angle in a sweeping motion. Brush your upper teeth using a sweeping downward motion, and your lower teeth using a sweeping upward motion. You should only brush back and forth on chewing surfaces.
2. Floss every night.
Flossing your teeth every night before you brush them not only helps remove debris but also minimizes the risk of tooth decay. It helps keep your gums healthy too. Use a piece of floss up to 18 inches long so you can use a fresh area of floss for every few teeth. Keep in mind the floss should rub against the teeth in a motion that creates a forward or backward 'C' shape, wrapping the floss around each tooth.
3. Rinse with mouthwash daily.
Adding mouthwash to your oral hygiene routine can help to kill the germs that can build up in your mouth. While it doesn't replace flossing or brushing, mouthwash can go where toothbrushes and floss can't and it can help to rid your mouth of debris that can irritate the gum line and lead to gum disease.
4. Brush or scrape your tongue daily.
After brushing your teeth, bacteria can still remain on the tongue. Brushing or scraping your tongue as part of your daily routine can help to get rid of this bacteria, and also helps to freshen your breath. Be sure to use one toothbrush for brushing, and a different toothbrush for scraping your tongue.
5. Visit the dentist regularly.
Visit the dentist, at least twice a year, for a professional hygiene cleaning and dental exam. Dentists and hygienists have tools and techniques to clean your teeth far more thoroughly than you can at home. Regular exams also mean your dentist can find any issues that are developing sooner and offer treatment options to prevent them from getting worse.
6. Don’t delay dental treatments.
Often times we put off dental care. It could be because we think it may cost too much, makes us anxious, or we simply don't have the time. The truth is, preventive check-ups and treatments do not cost much compared to extensive care of a dental crown or implant. Avoiding necessary treatments may impact your dental hygiene in a negative way and end up costing you more in the long run.
7. Make healthy food choices and minimize sugar.
The food we eat has an impact on our health, dental health included! Calcium, Vitamin D, and Vitamin B complex are essential for protecting the teeth and gums. Eating a balanced diet with lots of fruit and veggies can help you get these necessary components that promote good dental health. You can also speak with your dentist or doctor about supplements.
Try to minimize your consumption of sugar, which can lead to cavities and tooth decay.
8. Limit pop, coffee, and alcohol.
Beverages containing additives such as corn syrup and food dye can make white teeth appear dull and discoloured. On a daily basis, it's best to stick mostly to water. Not only is it good to stay hydrated, but water helps you make enough saliva which helps break down the plaque that builds up on your teeth.
9. Wear a mouth guard to protect your teeth.
If you play sports or other contact activities, it is recommended to wear a mouth guard to protect your teeth and gums from impact or injury. Most dental offices offer custom-made mouth guards for patients to comfortably fit their smiles and keep their teeth safe from damage.
10. Avoid habits that are harmful to your teeth.
Avoid things that can harm your oral health, such as tobacco, and try to break habits such as biting your nails or opening bottle caps with your teeth. If you have the habit of sucking your thumb, lip-biting, tongue-thrusting, or clenching your teeth, consult a dentist for treatment options.