Taking care of your oral health doesn't have to be an overwhelming task. No matter how good (or not-so-good) your current habits might be, there's probably something small that you can start doing today to improve the health of your teeth and gums for the long term. This guide provides an overview of the many things you can do to keep your teeth looking and feeling great.
How to Clean Your Teeth Every Day
Cleaning your teeth on a regular basis is essential. Twice a day is usually recommended as a reasonable minimum. Brushing your teeth last thing at night is the most important time to brush, this is because your saliva flow is reduced when you sleep, so it can’t help to wash away food debris. Scrubbing away bacteria and debris every morning and evening will help to prevent tartar buildup, help prevent cavities forming, and it can help to protect your tooth enamel from corrosive substances.
It's okay to brush your teeth more than twice a day. But no matter how often you choose to brush your teeth, it's important to pay attention to your technique, so that you don't end up inadvertently damaging your teeth or gums. The critical thing to remember is to be gentle. If you use a manual toothbrush, brush your teeth in small, light circles; you shouldn't need to press hard enough to bend the bristles of your toothbrush. Scrubbing your teeth too vigorously can wear down your enamel and make you more vulnerable to cavities. It can also cause your gums to recede, which is a permanent condition. If you use an electric toothbrush, allow the brush to do the work, but ensure every single tooth surface is gently cleaned.
Brushing isn't the only important part of your daily oral hygiene routine. You should also be cleaning in between your teeth at least once a day. You can use whatever kind of floss is most comfortable for you - waxed, unwaxed, or use a floss pick or you can use interdental brushes. You can clean between your teeth either before or after you brush. The important thing is to do it regularly.
Some dentists recommend using mouthwash and others don't. Ultimately, whether you do or not is up to you and your dentist. Some mouthwash is usually fluoridated and some kills bacteria in your mouth, both of which may reduce your long-term risk of developing cavities.
Choosing the Right Toothbrush
The toothbrush you use can have a significant impact on the health of your teeth and gums. Because it's hard to heal or replace these parts of the body once they become damaged, it's well worth investing in a good toothbrush. Medium or soft bristles are best for your teeth. You can use an electric or battery-powered toothbrush if you prefer those, but a manual toothbrush is just as effective when used correctly. Whatever kind of toothbrush you use, replace it every three months, or whenever you notice that the bristles are starting to look frayed.
Protecting Your Teeth
Establishing good oral hygiene habits is only one part of maintaining your oral health. Protecting your teeth and gums from injury and damage is just as important. You can do so by avoiding these harmful habits:
- Don't smoke. Smoking is well known for causing and masking gum disease and it increases plaque build-up, in addition to more severe health problems.
- Don't chew tobacco. Chewing tobacco is another significant risk factor for gum disease and mouth cancer.
- Avoid opening things with your teeth. Yes, it's convenient to tear open a package with your teeth if you don't have any scissors handy, but this is bad for your pearly whites in the long term. Make a habit of using your teeth as tools, and you're likely to end up with a broken tooth eventually.
- Use a mouth guard. If you play a contact sport, don't take a chance; use a correctly-fitting mouth guard every time you're out on the pitch or in the ring.
- Avoid letting debris sit on your teeth. If you eat or drink during the day and can't brush your teeth afterwards, then rinse your mouth out with water instead. If you do brush after eating, wait at least thirty minutes after eating before you brush your teeth.
- Avoid tongue and lip piercings. Tongue and lip piercings make it all too easy to accidentally crack or chip a tooth.
- Don't whiten your teeth at home. At-home whitening kits can damage your teeth. If you want to brighten up your smile, you should consult your dental care professional about how you can safely do so.
Getting Professional Cleanings
Another vital part of maintaining good dental health is getting regular professional cleanings. There are two reasons not to put off your next session. First, a dental hygienist or therapist will be able to clean your teeth more thoroughly with their specialised tools than you can at home. That means you'll be less prone to having tartar build up and gum problems over the years. Secondly, your hygienist or therapist will be able to spot any problems developing in your mouth quickly, and they'll be able to help you to take action to fix the issues immediately.
Even if your teeth are currently in good health, it's smart to see a dental care provider twice a year, and if your teeth aren't in such great shape right now, it's particularly important that you contact a local practice today to schedule an appointment. Dental problems never get better on their own, but they can be surprisingly quick and painless to fix, so don't put off finding a solution.
Once your oral health is gone, it's hard to get back. No matter how healthy your teeth and gums are at the moment, it's worth making an effort to ensure that they stay in the best condition possible. Investing just a few minutes a day in your oral health can make a big difference in how your teeth and gums will look and feel years down the road.
With our dental hygiene direct access policy at Pure you are able to see one of our highly trained hygienists at your convenience, so don't delay, book your hygienist appointment today!