Preventive oral hygiene, including flossing and brushing, alongside regular visits to your dentist's office, can help you to maintain your oral health. Here, our Newmarket dentists share their best oral hygiene tips.
By following these oral health tips, you can maintain healthy teeth and gums for life.
1. Brush twice a day, for at least minutes.
For excellent oral hygiene, you should brush your teeth at least twice each day (ideally in the morning and before bed) for two to four minutes at one time. Begin with your brush at a 45-degree angle with your smile and move it away from your gums in a sweeping motion. Brush your upper teeth using the motion downward and your lower teeth upward. You should only brush back and forth on your tooth surfaces on the chewing surfaces of your teeth.
2. Floss every night.
Flossing your teeth every night before you brush them not only helps remove debris but also minimizes the risk of tooth decay. It helps keep your gums healthy too. Use a piece of floss up to 18 inches long so you can use a fresh area of floss for every few teeth. Keep in mind the floss should rub against the teeth in a motion that creates a forward or backward 'C' shape, wrapping the floss around each tooth.
3. Rinse with mouthwash daily.
Adding mouthwash to your oral hygiene routine can help to kell germs that build up over time in your mouth. Because mouthwash can go where toothbrushes and floss aren't able to, it can help to get rid of debris in your mouth that may otherwise irritate your gums and cause periodontal disease.
4. Brush or scrape your tongue daily.
After brushing your teeth, bacteria can still remain on the tongue. Brushing or scraping your tongue as part of your daily routine can help to get rid of this bacteria, and also helps to freshen your breath. Be sure to use one toothbrush for brushing, and a different toothbrush for scraping your tongue.
5. Visit the dentist regularly.
Visit the dentist, at least twice a year, for a dental examination and cleaning. Dentists and hygienists have tools and techniques to clean your teeth far more thoroughly than you can at home. Regular exams also mean your dentist can find any issues that are developing sooner and offer treatment options to prevent them from getting worse.
6. Don’t delay dental treatments.
Some people have enough anxiety about dental appointments that they may stop themselves from getting dental treatments, while others may avoid treatments since they think it will be too costly.
The truth is, preventive check-ups and treatments don't cost much when compared to extensive treatments like dental crowns or implants. Avoiding necessary treatments may impact your dental hygiene in a negative way and end up costing you more in the long run.
7. Make healthy food choices and minimize sugar.
The food you eat has an effect on your whole body, including your teeth. So be sure to eat plenty of fruits and veggies, and minimize your consumption of sugar which leads to cavities. Calcium and Vitamin D are necessary for maintaining the health of gums and teeth. You may take supplements, but it is better to drink milk, and fortified orange juice, and to eat yogurt, broccoli, cheese, and other dairy products. Vitamin B complex is also essential for the protection of gums and teeth from cracking and bleeding.
8. Limit pop, coffee, and alcohol.
Beverages that contain additives like food dye or corn syrup can make your teeth appear dull and discoloured. It's best to choose beverages like milk that can help to strengthen teeth and build stronger enamel and water that hydrates your body.
9. Wear a mouth guard to protect your teeth.
If you play sports or other contact activities, it is recommended to wear a mouth guard to protect your teeth and gums from impact or injury. Most dental offices offer custom-made mouth guards for patients to comfortably fit their smiles and keep their teeth safe from damage.
10. Avoid habits that are harmful to your teeth.
Avoid tobacco and other substances that may be harmful to your teeth and try to break habits like biting your nails or opening bottle caps with your teeth. If you have the habit of sucking your thumb, lip-biting, tongue-thrusting, or clenching your teeth, consult a dentist for treatment options.