Dentists have been telling us for years that we need to brush and floss our teeth regularly in order to keep them healthy. But what are the best dental care practices for keeping our teeth and gums healthy?
In this blog post, we’ll discuss the top tips for keeping your smile looking good. Keep reading to learn more!
Best Ways To Brush Your Teeth
Brush your teeth at least twice a day – dental care is important for keeping your teeth and gums healthy. Brushing removes plaque, a sticky film of bacteria that can cause tooth decay and gum disease.
The best time to brush is after meals. If you can’t brush after eating, rinse your mouth with water or chew sugarless gum to help remove food debris and acids from your teeth.
Be sure to use a toothbrush with soft bristles and toothpaste that contains fluoride. Brushing too hard can damage your gums and tooth enamel. Hold the toothbrush against your teeth at a 45-degree angle and use gentle circular motions.
To clean the inside surfaces of your front teeth, tilt the brush vertically and use up-and-down strokes. Spit out the toothpaste after brushing.
Clean your toothbrush regularly. If you wear dental appliances, such as braces or retainers, be sure to clean them regularly and follow your dentist’s instructions for care. Dental appliances that aren’t properly cleaned can harbor bacteria and lead to decay and gum disease.
Rinse your toothbrush with water after each use and allow it to air dry. At least once a week, disinfect your toothbrush by soaking it in mouthwash or a mixture of water and vinegar. Replace your toothbrush every three to four months, or sooner if the bristles become frayed.
Floss daily – flossing helps remove plaque and food particles from between your teeth, where your toothbrush can’t reach. Here are some helpful flossing tips:
- Start with about 18 inches of dental floss. Wrap most of it around one middle finger, and the rest around the other middle finger.
- Pinch the dental floss between your thumbs and forefingers, and guide it between two teeth. Be careful not to snap the dental floss into your gums.
- Curve the dental floss around the base of each tooth in a “C” shape. Gently slide the dental floss up and down, taking care not to snap it into your gums.
- Repeat this process for each tooth. Don’t forget to floss behind your back teeth!
Freshen Your Breath
Mouthwash can help freshen your breath and reduce plaque and tartar buildup on your teeth. Look for a mouthwash that contains fluoride to help protect your teeth from decay.
Swish the mouthwash around in your mouth for 30 seconds, then spit it out. Don’t swallow mouthwash – it can be harmful if ingested in large quantities.
Don’t forget to brush your tongue! This can also help freshen your breath. Your tongue can harbor bacteria that lead to bad breath. To help keep your mouth clean, brush or scrape your tongue every time you brush your teeth.
You can use a tongue scraper, which is a small, blunt tool that’s specifically designed for cleaning your tongue. Or, you can use your toothbrush to brush your tongue. Simply put the toothbrush on your tongue and scrub it back and forth. Spit out the suds when you’re finished.
Maintain Healthy Diet And Lifestyle
Eating a balanced diet is good for your overall health, including your teeth and gums. Choose foods that are low in sugar and acidity to help protect your teeth from decay. Some examples of tooth-friendly foods include:
- Plain yogurt
- Leafy greens
- Fruits such as apples, pears, and bananas
Acidic and sugary foods can damage your teeth. Some of these foods and drinks can also stain your teeth and make them appear yellow or discolored. To help protect your teeth, limit or avoid foods and drinks that are high in sugar or acidity, such as:
- Fruit Juices
If you do eat or drink foods that can stain your teeth, brush your teeth immediately afterwards. You can also use dental whitening products to help keep your teeth white. Be sure to follow the manufacturer’s instructions carefully to avoid damaging your teeth.
Don’t smoke – smoking can damage your dental health in many ways, including increasing your risk for gum disease and tooth decay. If you do smoke, quit as soon as possible to improve your dental health.
Don’t bite or chew objects that aren’t food, such as pencils or ice. Chewing on hard objects can crack your teeth. And, if you have a habit of clenching or grinding your teeth (bruxism), talk to your dentist about ways to protect your teeth from damage.
See Your Dentist Regularly
Even if you take good care of your teeth at home, it’s important to see your dentist regularly for professional cleanings and dental checkups. Depending on your dental health, you may need to visit the dentist every six months or once a year.
If you have dental insurance, check with your insurance company to see how often they recommend that you visit the dentist. Many dental plans cover two dental cleanings per year. At your dental appointment, your dentist will:
- Examine your teeth and gums for signs of decay or disease.
- Take X-rays of your teeth to look for problems that can’t be seen with the naked eye.
- Clean your teeth to remove plaque and tartar.
- Give you a fluoride treatment to help protect your teeth from decay.
Your dentist may also recommend additional treatments, such as sealants or dental fillings, to help protect your teeth from decay.
Boost Your Dental Care Habits
Brushing and flossing are still your best bet for keeping your teeth healthy and plaque-free, but adding in some additional steps – such as using a mouthwash or chewing sugarless gum – can help keep your pearly whites shining bright.
At the end of the day, good dental care is all about common sense habits that you can stick to on a daily basis. We hope this post has helped give you a few ideas on how to better take care of your oral health.