Most of us understand how important oral health is.  A proper home regimen plays a vital role in maintaining and achieving optimal oral health.   This means taking care of your teeth and your gums. Here are 6 tips that will hopefully help you improve your oral hygiene.

DENTAL HYGIENE PRIMER: BRUSHING

All experts agree that we should brush two times a day, every day. The American Dental Association (ADA) recommends that everyone should brush at least 2 times a day for a minimum of 2 minutes each time.  Most people will brush for less than 45 seconds and therefore will likely miss some parts of the mouth. Once a while you should time yourself just so that you remember what two minutes feel like.  Remember that brushing harder does not mean you can be done faster. Aggressive brushing should be avoided as it can cause issues in the long run.  It’s best to use a soft bristle toothbrush with a small head. Some points to be mindful of include:

– Place your toothbrush at about 45-degree angle to the gums

– Use gentle short strokes (avoiding scrubbing)

– Brush all surfaces: outer, inner, and chewing surfaces.

If you choose to use an electric toothbrush your technique will vary. Make sure you follow the manufacture’s recommendations and if still uncertain discuss with your dental hygienist or dentist.

REGULAR FLOSSING

We hope that it’s no surprise that flossing is on our list. Flossing helps to prevent tooth decay (especially between our teeth) and helps to maintain the health of our gums. A proper flossing technique is also very important.  Make sure that the floss tightly hugs your tooth and gently slide it beneath the gum line as well.  Also, always remember to floss the backside of your last tooth in each corner of the mouth.   You should floss a minimum of once per day (preferably before going to sleep) and ideally before you brush. Some things to remember when flossing:

  • Use a piece of floss that is approximately 18 inches in length
  • Gently slide the floss between the teeth towards the gumline
  • Remember to hug each tooth and slide the floss beneath the gumline
  • Move the floss up and down several times to remove debris
  • Use a clean section of floss when moving from tooth to tooth

CLEAN YOUR TONGUE PROPERLY

Bacteria not only builds up on your teeth.  Bacteria and other particles can build up on your tongue as well. This can cause bad breath (halitosis) and discolouration on your tongue.  There are 2 main options for cleaning your tongue: brushing and scraping.

If you decide to use a toothbrush you should start at the very back of the tongue and gently work forward all the way to the tip. Make sure you brush the entire top surface of the tongue and rinse your mouth after.

Alternatively, you can use a tongue scraper. To do so place the scraper at the back of the tongue and with light pressure move it towards the front.  Rinse the scraper and repeat if needed. Always remember to rinse your mouth and the tongue scraper when done.

CONTROLLED MOUTHWASH USAGE

Consider using a mouthwash.  Mouthwash is not a substitute for proper brushing and flossing but it can be helpful to the health of our teeth and our gums. Therapeutic mouth rinses can help to reduce plaque, tooth decay, inflammation of gums, and bad breath.  We know that there are lots of options out there and we would be happy to give you a more specific recommendation based on your needs.  For now, to make it easier, we suggest looking for an alcohol-free rinse that has the American Dental Association (ADA) Seal of acceptance.

AVOID SUGARY AND ACIDIC FOODS AND DRINKS

A well-balanced diet is necessary for good health and wellness. Proper nutrition is not only a vital part of overall health but it is also critical in maintaining good oral health. A diet high in sugar and acidic foods and beverages contributes to tooth decay (cavities).  Some easy tips to keep in mind: drink plenty of water, limit snacking, and avoid drinking pop and juice.

REGULAR DENTAL APPOINTMENTS FOR BETTER ORAL HEALTH

Even with the best of home care you should still see a dentist on a regular basis. Your everyday dental hygiene routine should be complemented with a professional examination and cleaning.  Your dentist should provide you with a thorough dental examination and cleaning and if needed a comprehensive treatment plan.

If you need a dentist, feel free to call our dental office today  Our team will be happy to provide you with the care you need.

DISCLAIMER: The advice offered is intended to be informational only and generic in nature. It is no way to offer a definitive diagnosis or specific treatment recommendations for your particular situation.  Any advice provided is no substitute for proper evaluation and care by a qualified dentist.