Achieving healthy teeth and good oral hygiene takes a lifetime of care. Even if you’ve been told that you have good teeth, it’s crucial to take the right steps every day to take care of them and prevent problems. Knowing the best ways to practice dental hygiene at home can be the difference between protecting your teeth from cavities and dealing with costly dental payments from various procedures. With the right knowledge and daily routine implemented, you can ensure long-term oral health and prevent frequent, unnecessary trips to the dentist.
The way you brush important because doing a poor job of brushing your teeth is almost as bad as not brushing at all. Take your time, moving the toothbrush in gentle, circular motions to remove plaque. Unremoved plaque can harden, leading to calculus buildup and gingivitis. It is important to brush every part of the mouth and not just the teeth. Be sure to focus while brushing you’re reaching every spot, especially the gums, tongue, and cheeks. Be sure to use a soft toothbrush and gently, yet thoroughly, brush over the enamel to avoid causing unwanted damage.
Don’t neglect your tongue:
Plaque can also build up on your tongue. Not only can this lead to bad mouth odor, but it can lead to other oral health problems. Gently brush your tongue every time you brush your teeth.
Use fluoride toothpaste:
When it comes to toothpaste, there are more important elements to look for than whitening power and flavors. No matter which version you choose, make sure it contains fluoride. The most effective way to ensure that you are getting enough is to brush your teeth twice each day with fluoridated toothpaste. Make sure that when you are brushing, you take the time to go over and around each tooth on all sides and along the gum line. Fluoride is a leading defense against tooth decay and it works by fighting germs that can lead to decay, as well as providing a protective barrier for your teeth.
Don’t forget to floss:
It’s a fact, flossing daily helps protect against gingivitis by removing plaque and food particles, keeping your teeth and gums healthy, while giving you a beautiful smile. In many instances, people only floss when they feel food particles in between their teeth, however, many times food particles are not felt in between teeth.
Advertisements make mouthwash seem necessary for good oral health, but many people skip them because they don’t know how they work. Some people use mouthwash to fight against bad breath, while others use it to try to prevent tooth decay. While mouthwash doesn’t replace brushing your teeth or flossing, it’s only effective when used correctly so it’s important to understand that different formulas contain different ingredients, and not all mouthwashes can strengthen your teeth. Most mouthwash products recommend that you use them twice per day, along with brushing and flossing. But you can also use it in a pinch to banish bad breath.
Ask your dentist for specific mouthwash recommendations. Certain brands are best for children, and those with sensitive teeth.
Drink more water:
Water continues to be the best beverage for your overall health — including oral hygiene. Drinking water with fluoride is one of the easiest and most beneficial things you can do to help prevent cavities. Fluoride is nature’s cavity fighter and occurs naturally in varying amounts in water sources. Drinking juice or soda leaves unwanted sugar behind on your teeth. The cavity-causing bacteria in your mouth love to eat sugar and produce acid that wears away enamel, which is the outer shell of your teeth. Water cleans your mouth with every sip. It washes away leftover food and residue that cavity-causing bacteria are looking for. It also dilutes the acids produced by the bacteria in your mouth.
See your dentist at least twice a year:
Your own everyday habits are crucial to your overall oral health. Still, even the most dutiful brushers and flossers need to see a dentist regularly. Visits to the dentist twice a year are common but your personal need for an exam and cleaning may be different than twice a year. The American Dental Association (ADA) recommends that you not only visit your dentist regularly but also that you allow your dentist to determine the cleaning interval that best meets your needs for optimal oral health.
Knowing the best ways to take care of your teeth and mouth at home is very important. With the right knowledge and daily routine implemented, you can have great oral hygiene and prevent unnecessary trips to the dentist. We are here to answer any questions you may have regarding your own personal dental health. Call us at 717-737-4337 for any questions or to schedule an appointment.