By following these oral health tips, you can maintain healthy teeth and gums for life.
1. Brush twice a day, for at least 2 minutes.
Maintaining good oral hygiene requires brushing your teeth at least twice a day, ideally in the morning and before bed, for a duration of two to four minutes each time. Hold your toothbrush at a 45-degree angle and use a gentle sweeping motion. Brush your upper teeth in a downward motion and your lower teeth in an upward motion. Focus on the chewing surfaces, using back and forth motions.
2. Floss every night.
To remove debris and reduce the risk of tooth decay, it's important to floss your teeth every night before brushing. Flossing also promotes healthy gums. Use an 18-inch piece of floss, allowing you to use a fresh section for every few teeth. Gently move the floss in a forward or backward 'C' shape, wrapping it around each tooth.
3. Rinse with mouthwash daily.
Incorporate mouthwash into your daily oral hygiene routine to eliminate germs that can accumulate in your mouth. Mouthwash can reach areas that toothbrushes and floss cannot, helping to remove debris that may irritate the gum line and contribute to gum disease.
4. Brush or scrape your tongue daily.
After brushing your teeth, bacteria can still linger on the tongue. Make it a habit to brush or scrape your tongue daily to eliminate this bacteria and freshen your breath. Use a separate toothbrush for brushing and a tongue scraper for scraping.
5. Visit the dentist regularly.
Visit your dentist for a dental examination and cleaning at least twice a year. Dentists and hygienists possess the tools and techniques to thoroughly clean your teeth beyond what you can achieve at home. Regular exams allow your dentist to detect and address any developing issues early on, preventing them from worsening.
6. Don’t delay dental treatments.
Many people have fears that prevent them from getting dental treatments, while others avoid treatments because they think that it will be too costly. The truth is, preventive check-ups and treatments do not cost much compared to extensive care of a dental crown or implant. 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, 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 containing additives such as corn syrup and food dye can make white teeth appear dull and discoloured. It is best to choose beverages such as milk, which helps to strengthen teeth and build stronger enamel, and water which hydrates your body.
9. Wear a mouth guard to protect your teeth.
If you participate in sports or activities with potential impact or injury risks, it's recommended to wear a mouth guard. Custom-made mouth guards offered by dental offices provide a comfortable fit and protect your teeth and gums from harm.
10. Avoid habits that are harmful to your teeth.
Steer clear of tobacco and other substances that are harmful to your teeth, and try to break habits such as 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.