How often do you stop to think about your oral health? Probably never since taking care of your teeth is just another part of your daily routine that you don’t give much thought to. However, we should give more thought to our oral health because it is vital to our overall health and wellbeing. Here are a few oral health basics you may want to brush up on that will help maximize the benefits of your daily brushing habits along with a few other tips that will help continue to improve your overall oral health. Here’s to a healthy and bright smile!
Brush your teeth twice a day
When you brush, don't rush. Take time to do a thorough job. Brushing helps reduce the bacterial load in your mouth and can help prevent gum infection, bad breath, and teeth staining.
Clean between teeth daily
Tooth decay-causing bacteria lingers between teeth where toothbrush bristles can’t reach. Flossing helps remove plaque and food particles from between the teeth and under the gum line.
Use the proper equipment
Use a fluoride toothpaste and a soft-bristled toothbrush that fits your mouth comfortably. Consider using an electric or battery-operated toothbrush, which can reduce plaque and a mild form of gum disease (gingivitis) more than manual brushing. These devices are also helpful if you have arthritis or other problems that make it difficult to brush effectively.
Practice good technique
Hold your toothbrush at a slight angle — aiming the bristles toward the area where your tooth meets your gum. Gently brush with a short back-and-forth motion. Remember to brush the outside, inside, and chewing surfaces of your teeth, as well as your tongue.
Keep your equipment clean
Always rinse your toothbrush with water after brushing. Store your toothbrush in an upright position and allow it to air-dry until using it again. Try to keep it separate from other toothbrushes in the same holder to prevent cross-contamination. Don't routinely cover toothbrushes or store them in closed containers, which can encourage the growth of bacteria, mold, and yeast.
Know when to replace your toothbrush
Invest in a new toothbrush or a replacement head for your electric or battery-operated toothbrush every three to four months — or sooner if the bristles become irregular or frayed.
Eat a balanced diet and limit sugary beverages and snacks. A healthy diet is not only good for you but also your teeth and gums. Try to avoid sugary foods and sticky candies as they are another culprit because they linger on teeth surfaces.
Of course, brushing and maintaining good oral health at home is an important part of your overall dental care routine, but also be sure to see your dentist regularly for prevention and treatment of oral disease. As with most things it is easier to detect and treat the earlier you catch it.