The key to good oral hygiene is great oral hygiene habits (along with regular check-ups and cleanings with the smile experts at Smile Envy Dental Group), and we’ve put together this list of 9 ways to maintain great oral hygiene habits so you can be sure that your pearly whites stay looking bright and brilliant for your whole life.
- Proper Brushing
One of the easiest (and most important!) steps to take every day to help keep your teeth sparklingly clean is proper brushing. When you’re brushing your teeth, position the bristles of your brush at an angle of 45 degrees near the gum line. Both the gum line and your tooth surface should be in contact with the brush bristles. Brush the outer surfaces of your teeth using a back-and-forth, up-and-down motion, making sure to brush gently enough to avoid aggravating the gums or causing any bleeding. Gently brush the outside, inside and the chewing surface of each tooth using short back-and-forth strokes. To clean the inside surfaces of your teeth and gums, again place the bristles at a 45-degree angle and repeat the back-and-forth, and up-and-down motion. Lastly, brush the surfaces of your tongue and the roof of your mouth to remove bacteria, which contributes to poor oral health and may cause bad breath as well. Gently brush your tongue to remove bacteria and freshen your breath. Try to brush at least twice a day to prevent acid buildup from the breakdown of food by bacteria.
- Clean your tongue
Oral health is about more than just your teeth. It really is worth an extra reminder that you should elevate your oral health care level by keeping the surface of your tongue completely clean! Clean the surface of your tongue daily because this will help you to remove the countless bacteria that can otherwise live (and contribute to poor oral health), particularly on the rougher top surface of your tongue. Bacteria on your tongue’s surface that are not addressed can otherwise contribute to bad breath (halitosis) and also negatively affect your dental health.
We know, flossing is a chore, and oftentimes we are forgetful about flossing after brushing, particularly if we are rushing out the door or heading to bed. However, flossing is extremely important, as it can help you remove food particles lodged between your teeth and other detrimental substances that regular brushing cannot clean effectively. Flossing allows you to reach deep between your teeth where the toothbrush bristles cannot reach and address food particles that even mouthwash cannot wash away. When you floss try to use about 18″ of floss, leaving an inch or two to work with on either side. Be sure to clean beneath the gum line, but avoid snapping the floss on your gums. We recommend flossing at least twice a day for optimal results.
- Avoid Tobacco
Avoiding tobacco, which is always a good idea in terms or your heart and lung health, will also be a tremendously beneficial boon to your teeth, and it can help to save you from oral cancer and periodontal complications. In addition not smoking will help to protect you from the countless ill effects caused or brought on by those agents that are used to mask the smell of tobacco. If you smoke a cigarette, you may use candies, tea or coffee to mask the unpleasant smoky breath and odor. This practice increases the amount of damage caused to your teeth, so for the sake of your smile, steer clear of cigarettes and other forms of tobacco.
- Minimize Your Consumption of Sodas, Coffee, and Alcohol
Soda contains sugar which harms the enamel of your teeth. Coffee can stain your teeth, making your teeth appear darker than they need to be. Although these beverages contain a high level of phosphorous, which is a necessary mineral for a healthy mouth, too much phosphorous can deplete the body’s level of calcium. This causes dental hygiene problems as well, such as tooth decay and gum disease. Beverages containing additives such as corn syrup and food dye can additionally make your pearly white teeth appear dull and discolored. Therefore, it is best to choose beverages like milk, which helps to strengthen your teeth and contributes to building stronger enamel, giving you a healthy, beautiful smile, and of course we recommend drinking plenty of water which helps to rinse your teeth and hydrates your body much more efficaciously than sugary drinks.
- Consume Plenty of Calcium
You need calcium for your teeth to be strong and be able to last a long time. Calcium is absolutely essential for your teeth as well as your bones, and you can get the calcium your body needs by drinking milk, fortified orange juice or eating yogurt, broccoli, cheese, and other dairy products (you can also take a calcium supplement to increase your calcium levels). Calcium and Vitamin D are absolutely necessary for maintaining the well-being and health of your gums and teeth, and Vitamin B complex is also an essential ingredient for the protection of your gums and teeth, to protect them from cracking and bleeding. Copper, zinc, iodine, iron and potassium are also required for maintaining healthy dental hygiene, so make sure that your diet contains plenty of calcium along with these other essential elements so you will be able to enjoy a lifetime of great smiles.
- Visit Smile Envy Dental Group Twice a Year for Cleanings and a Check Up
This is one of the most important tips of all. If you care about your teeth and your smile, then you should absolutely visit your friendly dentists at Smile Envy Dental Group at least twice a year to have a full hygiene treatment and cleaning performed. Also at these appointments, a comprehensive exam is taken with x-rays to help detect and prevent future dental treatments from occurring. This is absolutely crucial to catching any issues early and taking corrective measures in a timely fashion! Make regular visits to Smile Envy Dental Group a part of your toolkit to keeping your teeth strong, healthy and beautiful looking for years to come.
- Use Mouthwash along with Brushing and Flossing
Mouthwashes containing Listerine or chlorine dioxide are very helpful because they work to effectively kill the bad bacteria in your mouth which contribute to poor oral health. Using mouthwash is essential to helping you maintain good breath in addition to helping to maintain strong teeth. Brush your teeth, floss, and rinse your mouth, teeth and gums with mouthwash every day to keep those teeth sparklingly clean, free from infection, and structurally solid and strong for life.
- Remember that Oral Health is Total Body Health
Taking care of your teeth is about more than just your smile. Many people don’t truly understand or appreciate how crucial your oral health is to your total health and wellness picture. Tooth problems can lead to diabetes, heart disease, systemic infections, an inability to eat or speak properly and other maladies – sometimes life-threatening ones. Crooked or crowded teeth can contribute to gum disease that can eventually lead to tooth loss, and a whole host of ailments and adverse health conditions can be brought on by oral health hazards, so it’s of the utmost importance that you remember to always promote your overall health by taking care of your oral health!