We are all taught to brush our teeth regularly and to look after our teeth, but how exactly do we achieve the best results at home?
The biggest way to maintain your dental health is to regularly visit your dentist. It is recommended that everyone should visit the dentist every six months for a checkup and professional cleaning. These check ups serve as a way to maintain your oral hygiene, catch early signs of any dental conditions and to keep your dental history up to date. Patients can also use this time to get valuable information, such as dental health advice.
We should brush our teeth twice a day for two minutes, using small circular motions and short back and forth strokes. The whole surface area of the tooth should be cleaned, all the way to the gum line. Picking the correct brush is important in cleaning your teeth. Most adults need a small to medium sized toothbrush with fine bristles to reach into all the crevices of your teeth. Do not cover your brush after using it. Simply rinse your brush and let it air dry to prevent bacteria build up. Using fluoride toothpaste and mouth rinses will also help prevent tooth decay as it stops the demineralization of our teeth.
Remember to clean your tongue when you clean your teeth. Use your brush and scrape your tongue from the back to the front with the bristles. Rinse your brush after each stroke to avoid replacing the bacteria you just scraped off. If brushing is not enough, invest in a metal tongue scraper. The scraper or toothbrush will remove the bacterial growth on your tongue that causes bad breath and contributes to other conditions, like tooth decay. You should scrape your tongue in the morning before you brush your teeth as this is the most beneficial time of day.
What you put into your mouth plays a big role in the health of your teeth as well as the rest of your body. Avoiding sugary foods and drinks that promote plaque and decay, as well as stain your teeth, goes a long way to maintaining good oral health. Limiting your intake of sodas or alcohol is also important as chemicals in these drinks deplete calcium levels in the body, which can contribute to decay and gum disease. Fruits, nuts, cheese, vegetables and chicken are your more teeth friendly foods. However, regardless of what you are eating, you should avoid late night snacking, as most individuals do not brush their teeth after their midnight snack, which can aid in plaque build up. Keeping hydrated is extremely important to keep saliva productions up throughout the day for the prevention of dry mouth and bad breath.
Develop the habit of flossing at least once a day. Floss can get in between your teeth, where normal brushing struggles to reach. These hard to reach places are the areas where food is more likely to get stuck, and needs to be removed at the end of each day to prevent the development of dental health issues. Floss before you brush by using approximately 18 inches of floss, which you will wrap around your index finger. With the use of your thumbs, unwrap new floss as you go around your mouth, making sure to use a new stretch of floss for every few teeth. This prevents the contamination of different teeth by not over using the same stretch of floss. Rub the floss against your teeth in a backwards and forwards ‘C’ motion, while you wrap the floss around each tooth. This allows you to get in between the tooth, as well as rub around the gum line.