Just as you wouldn’t expect a doctor to keep you in good health without doing your part, the condition of your smile doesn’t rely solely on your dentist. While a dentist can remedy any issues caused by poor oral hygiene, you’ll want to practice good at-home care to avoid any significant dental work.
Brush Well & Often
Brushing your teeth may be the most critical aspect of a proper oral hygiene routine. You should be brushing your teeth at least twice a day for a minimum of two minutes. Be sure to pay close attention to every part of your smile when brushing, including the backs and top of your teeth. You’ll also want to be careful when brushing not to apply too much force so you don’t cause any unnecessary abrasion to your enamel.
While brushing is essential to maintain good oral health, toothbrushes can’t reach every area in your mouth. Floss will be able to reach the spots your toothbrush misses, like between your teeth and underneath your gum line. Flossing also helps prevent gum disease by stimulating your gums. It is recommended that you floss at least once a day. When flossing, be sure to switch up the part of the floss you’re using after every tooth to avoid spreading bacteria.
Rinse & Repeat
Rinse your mouth out after brushing to flush out the bacteria and food particles you just removed from your teeth and gums. Standard sink water is more than efficient, but you can also use mouthwash, too. Certain mouthwashes can address specific dental problems like susceptibility to cavities and gum disease, so talk to your dentist about which rinsing solution is right for you.
Don’t Ignore Your Tongue
The tongue harbors tons of bacteria, so you’ll want to pay special attention to it when cleaning your mouth. This can be done with your standard toothbrush or with a special tongue scraper. Another incentive to include your tongue in your cleaning routine? Washing your tongue can help eliminate embarrassing bad breath, so you don’t have to pop breath mints anymore.
Maintain a Healthy Diet
What you put IN your mouth has a direct impact ON your mouth! Nutrient-rich foods will help strengthen your enamel, while the texture of some foods, such as celery, can even mimic the effects of a toothbrush by stimulating your gums and rubbing off bacteria. Staying away from unhealthy snacks is just as important as including nutritious foods in your diet, though. Sugary foods and drinks will make your teeth more prone to cavities. What’s more, certain foods and beverages will stain your teeth, while others can whiten them.
Care for Your Tools
If your toothbrush isn’t in good condition, it won’t achieve the desired results. Be sure to keep your toothbrush clean and replace it when necessary. Thoroughly rinse your toothbrush after every use to rid it of the bacteria and food particles it just removed from your mouth. As a rule of thumb, you should switch out your toothbrush every three to four months. The bristles of a toothbrush fray over time so the older the toothbrush is, the harder it is to concentrate on one particular area of your teeth at a time.
By practicing good oral hygiene, you can keep your teeth at their healthiest and your smile shining brightly. Though your habits at home play a big part in your oral health, you’ll want to be sure to schedule regular cleanings every six months to keep any potential problems at bay.
Have any questions about keeping your smile healthy at home? Call to speak with our dental experts today! We’ll be happy to answer any Qs you might have.