Your smile announces you when you walk into a room and impressions are formed quickly, so it’s important your smile is bright and clean every day. Proper dental hygiene is the key to achieving this positive impression so it’s important to know all the actions you should follow.
In this article, we will discuss the top oral hygiene tips to create that bright and clean smile. They include the recommended brushing, flossing, and routine dental cleanings, but there are a few tips that may surprise you, too.
Let’s start by reviewing how important a good oral hygiene routine is to your overall health.
The Importance of a Good Oral Hygiene Routine
The best oral hygiene routine begins with preventative care. Oral health issues such as gum disease, bad breath, and cavities, can be prevented by instituting a good dental routine before problems begin.
Good dental hygiene is linked to your overall health, too. Diseases and other health conditions can be carried from your mouth, through your bloodstream, and to the rest of your body. Research has shown that gingivitis and periodontitis can lead to:
- Cardiovascular disease
- Pregnancy complications
Instituting a good dental hygiene routine isn’t difficult, but it does take commitment. Here are some pro tips on dental hygiene to keep you on the path to the best oral hygiene routine every day.
8 Dental Hygiene Tips from the Pros:
You can have healthy teeth by adopting a routine based on dental best practices. By doing this, you will prevent a lifetime of problems and pain that begin in your teeth and mouth. Here are 8 dental hygiene tips straight from the dental professionals:
#1 – Brush Your Teeth
This is the standard recommendation and it’s the basis of any oral health routine, but there is more to it than simply moving a toothbrush around your mouth for a few seconds.
Brush twice a day
Morning and before bed is the recommendation. Many people forget to brush before bed, which leaves bacteria in their mouths all night. And that’s not good.
On the flip side, too much brushing can damage the gums and tooth enamel so experts say twice a day is enough. You can rinse and swish vigorously with water after mid-day meals and snacks to protect your mouth just as well.
Move the brush in gentle, circular motions. This removes the plaque that builds up on teeth. That built-up plaque hardens and leads to gum disease. You can also try an electric toothbrush to assist.
Use fluoride toothpaste
Fluoride is one of the keys to preventing tooth decay. This ingredient fights germs and provides a protective barrier for your teeth.
Care for your toothbrush
Change your toothbrush every three to six months. Frayed brush heads simply can’t do the job required to properly clean your teeth. Also, rinse your toothbrush after each use. Store it so it can dry out between uses. And if you’ve been sick, replace it.
Don’t forget the toothbrush holder. Most toothbrushes are kept in the bathroom which is one of the germiest places in the house. Put the holder in the dishwasher or wipe it off with a disinfecting wipe and then wash it with warm, soapy water.
#2 – Floss Regularly
Floss every night before brushing. This removes bits of food stuck between the teeth that your brush may not reach. Those bits of food, if left behind, can lead to decay.
Floss for two minutes and slide the floss up and down along the whole tooth. Get into all the tight spaces, which may take a bit of work. This is important because your toothbrush often can’t reach these areas. Get the floss down in between the teeth and then slide it out if that’s easier.
It’s normal for your gums to be sore when you begin a daily flossing routine. Your gums are being stimulated which is a good thing, so keep at it. The soreness will stop after a few days. If you need help to make sure you’re flossing correctly, ask your dental hygienist to demonstrate for you.
#3 – Drink More Water
Make sure to drink sufficient water throughout the day. Staying hydrated helps in maintaining a healthy saliva flow, and this aids in moving food particles out of your mouth. This prevents a build-up of bacteria in your mouth.
Experts recommend drinking water after every meal. The water helps wash away the sticky, acidic foods and drinks. To get the most from this practice, drink and swish after eating, then spit the water out. Then keep drinking water throughout the day! Your mouth and body will love it.
#4 – Brush Your Tongue
Brush your tongue every time you brush your teeth. Your tongue acts like a sponge, which means bacteria grow there, too. The results can be bad breath as well as digestive problems like reflux and GERD. Brush the entire tongue as far back as the end of your tongue groove. But, don’t brush back too far and don’t brush your tonsils.
#5 – Eat Fruits & Vegetables and Avoid Sugar & Acid
Focus on eating healthy for your body AND your teeth. Fresh, crunchy produce contains healthy fiber for your digestive system and is also a good choice for your teeth. Your teeth will be strengthened from both the chewing and the nutrient content. Also, consume foods high in calcium to support healthy, strong teeth.
Sugar converts into acid in your mouth. This erodes the tooth enamel which leads to cavities. So, limit soda, sports drinks, candy, and other sweets as much as possible. Acidic foods like citrus fruits, teas, and coffee erode the enamel, too.
#6 – Don’t Smoke
Stop smoking immediately or get help if you can’t stop on your own. And don’t start if you don’t currently smoke. Smoking is a major health concern for your body and your teeth. This includes cigarettes, chewing tobacco, and smokeless tobacco. All of which lead to oral cancer, gum disease, tooth decay, bad breath, stained teeth and tongue, a dulled sense of smell and taste, a build-up of plaque and tartar on the teeth, heart disease, emphysema, strokes, and cancer.
#7 – Examine the Inside of Your Mouth at Home
Check your teeth and gums daily for inflamed spots in your mouth or on your tongue. Look for anything that looks new or unusual since your last dental visit. Share this information with your dentist. If you have sustained pain, call your dentist now.
#8 – See Your Dentist at Least Twice a Year
Schedule your regular checkups and cleanings every six months. Set your next appointment before you leave your dentist’s office. Your dentist can identify potential problems before they start and set a plan with you to stop the problem or fix it. And your cleanings will remove any built-up plaque and identify cavities. All of this helps keep your teeth, mouth, and body healthy.
Experienced & Compassionate Dentist In Wilmington, DE
Following these pro tips on dental hygiene will help you create that bright and clean smile that gives you the confidence you need both at work and at home. By properly keeping your teeth clean and visiting your dentist regularly, you can keep your teeth and gums healthy for a lifetime.
At Wilmington Dental Associates, your oral health is our top concern and we can help ensure that your teeth stay as clean and healthy as possible. With routine dental checkups, you can also be assured that oral health problems are caught early and treated effectively.
Contact us to schedule an appointment today!