Your oral health routine helps you achieve healthy teeth for life. Even a pretty white smile can have underlying issues that threaten your dental health. Your goal should be to achieve oral health perfection with an oral health routine that helps prevent problems. Here we look at what it takes to have the ideal oral health routine for life-long dental health.
Brush Your Teeth Every Night
No matter how tired you are, you should never miss a night of brushing your teeth. This is a habit that should be ingrained in your life by now, and it’s never a good idea to break this good habit. When you don’t brush your teeth at night, you allow every minuscule piece of debris and all those germs and plaque that have built up throughout the day to do their worst while you sleep. Give your teeth a fighting chance with a good brushing every single night.
Learn How To Brush Properly
What? Yep. There are a lot more people out there than you think who don’t use the proper brushing technique. Don’t be one of them. To be 100% certain you’ve got the best brushing technique down pat, ask your hygienist to watch you brush and offer pointers. This might sound a little silly and maybe even embarrassing, but if you don’t brush properly, you might as well not bother brushing at all.
Brush too hard and you can cause gum recession and even damage your enamel. Brush in the wrong direction, and you can also cause gum recession and miss plaque and debris. Don’t brush long enough, and you aren’t doing enough to remove plaque and germs. Don’t brush your tongue, and you’ll have a mouthful of germs and bad breath. Brushing requires two minutes of gentle, circular motion and a final brush of the tongue to do a good job. Use your hygienist’s tips, and you’ll become a lean, mean brushing machine.
Only Use Fluoride Toothpaste
We get that you want to have toothpaste that tastes good, maybe does some whitening, and definitely freshens your breath. But all those things mean nothing if you don’t use a toothpaste that contains fluoride. Fluoride is your number one weapon against tooth decay, providing a barrier between your enamel and the germs that cause cavities and enamel erosion.
Flossing is a pain, and can even cause some sensitive people to gag. We get it. But it is a must if you want to get at anything stuck between your teeth that your toothbrush failed to dislodge. It is also necessary to stimulate the gums so they don’t become inflamed and tender. And nothing does a better job at removing plaque from those hard-to-reach places than floss. If you find flossing difficult for any reason, speak to your dentist. They can recommend alternative products like water flossers that offer the same benefits.
Add Mouthwash To Your Routine
Some people think of mouthwash as more of a gimmick or something to rinse your mouth with before a social engagement. However, mouthwash offers many oral health benefits, including:
- Reducing the amount of harmful acid in your mouth
- Flushing out debris and plaque left between your teeth or around your gums after flossing
- Helping to re-mineralize your teeth
Before grabbing just any mouthwash off the shelf at your local drugstore, ask your dentist for a recommendation. They will provide the right product to suit your needs, so you get the most out of your mouthwash.
Hydrate And Rinse With Water
Drinking more water keeps your mouth moist and helps flush out germs and debris. It’s especially effective after a meal that includes sticky or acidic foods and drinks. It is best to rinse your mouth with water directly after a meal instead of brushing right away, as brushing can force sugars and acids still in your mouth into your teeth, causing yet more damage.
Enjoy More Raw Fruits And Veggies
Crunchy fruits and veggies are a healthy snack packed with fiber, vitamins, and minerals. The crunchier your choice, the better it is for your teeth. This offers many benefits, including stimulating saliva flow and scrubbing away bacteria and food particles.
Reduce Sugary, Acidic Foods
Sugar is bad because it turns into acid, which eats away at tooth enamel, causing cavities. It helps if you also stay away from acidic foods like citrus fruits, teas, and coffee which can wear away enamel. Of course, a little sugar and acid here and there isn’t going to cause cavities immediately, but indulging in acidic and sugary foods daily can cause problems.
This recommendation should be no surprise, as you probably hear it all the time. However, smoking also impacts your oral health. It interferes with saliva production, allowing more germs and acids to build up in your mouth. It also causes staining and increases the risk of gum disease.
Chew Sugar-Free Gum
Chewing sugar-free gum helps promote good oral hygiene. If, for some reason, you do miss the chance to brush or floss, it helps do the same job as fluoride toothpaste. Just 20 minutes a day helps restore the condition of your teeth and produces more saliva to reduce acids in your mouth.
See Your Dentist Twice A Year To Complete Your Ideal Oral Health Routine
Your dental checkups will confirm that your oral health routine is working. Your dentist also looks for signs of issues that can get worse without treatment. No matter how well you brush and floss, you can’t remove all the plaque and hardened tartar that builds up after six months. Your dentist will check for cavities and early signs of gingivitis. They also do an oral cancer screening. This is your opportunity to discuss any concerns you might have about your teeth and gums, including possible cosmetic treatments to improve the appearance of your smile.
If your lifestyle seems too busy to keep up with your oral health routine, be sure to at least brush twice a day, floss once a day, drink more water, and enjoy sugar-free gum.