Oral hygiene is an essential part of your entire well-being. Having good dental health keeps your body protected from various kinds of bacteria. Without proper teeth cleaning, these microorganisms can reach the point where they can bring harm to your mouth. High levels of bacteria can give you oral infections, tooth decay, gum diseases, and even jaw infections.
Every day, your teeth can accumulate a thin film of bacteria known as dental plaque. Over time, plaque can build up and produce acids that damage the enamel in your teeth. If left untreated for an extended period, it can harden and form tartar, also known as dental calculus. It makes it harder for you to keep your teeth clean and would require a dental professional to remove them properly.
Don’t let this happen to your teeth. Here are just some of the things that you can do to keep your teeth in good condition:
Develop Proper Brushing Habits and Techniques
It’s a well-known fact that people should brush their teeth at least twice per day, once in the morning and once at night. But some of us neglect to do it at night because of a variety of reasons. Either they’re too tired to do it, or they’re under the impression that it’s not that important. Some people also tend to forget to brush in the morning because they are too busy or in a hurry for work or school.
Brushing your teeth before going to bed can help clean out any small particles of food that remain in your mouth after eating. Besides that, it prevents build-up in the long run. But brushing your teeth frequently won’t do you any good if your technique is not ideal. There is a proper way of brushing to effectively remove plaque before it can even get the chance to build up.
The American Dental Association (ADA) recommends that people should use soft bristle toothbrushes, which must be replaced every 3 months. The entire brushing process should last for at least 2 minutes.
Lubricate the toothbrush with water before applying a pea-sized toothpaste to the bristles. Insert the brush into your mouth at about a 45-degree angle and do short circular strokes to brush your front teeth. Brush the outside surfaces before flipping the brush upside down to get to the inside surface of your front teeth. Spit out the toothpaste and finish by rinsing your mouth with water.
Use Fluoride Toothpaste
Your choice of toothpaste can also affect your oral health. The ADA recommends those brands that contain fluoride. Fluoride is a natural mineral that can be found in rocks, water, and even plants. It acts as a protective agent that can prevent cavity formation. It can also rebuild weak enamel and limit the growth of bacteria in your mouth.
But some people would prefer buying fluoride-free toothpaste, thinking that it’s a lot safer for their teeth. Fluoride-free toothpaste isn’t recommended for people because there’s a higher risk of cavities and faster bacteria build-up.
Floss Your Teeth and Use Mouthwash
Besides brushing your teeth, there are a few other things that you can do to keep your teeth healthy. Flossing your teeth before you brush them can help keep your teeth in good condition. The ADA recommends that you floss at least once a day to prevent cavities and remove harder-to-reach food particles.
There are two main types of dental floss available today: waxed and unwaxed. As the names imply, waxed flosses have a thin layer of wax coating while unwaxed ones do not. According to the ADA, there’s no difference in effectiveness between the two, and it all boils down to personal preference.
Another thing you can do is to use mouthwash. Although mouthwash isn’t strictly necessary if you brush your teeth properly and floss regularly, adding it to your daily oral cleaning routine can still help. Besides freshening up your breath, it can also go hand-in-hand with toothbrushing when cleaning your mouth. Like dental flosses, it can also get into areas where your toothbrush can’t reach.
If you have certain dental conditions like tooth sensitivity and dry mouth, using mouthwashes can help, especially if you use those that were made to address them. For a general-purpose mouthwash, it’s recommended that you use those that contain fluoride because of their known benefits. You can use them before or after brushing.
See Your Dentist From Time to Time
For you to know if your oral health is still well, experts have recommended that you should see your dentist once every 6 months for a proper checkup. The dentist can check for any visual signs of cavities, gum diseases, and other issues that you may not have noticed before. Your dentist can also professionally remove any plaque or hardened tartar.
Having good dental hygiene involves more than just brushing your teeth. By taking good care of your teeth now, you’ll prevent any expensive treatments in the future.