Most of us are raised knowing the importance of keeping our teeth healthy. Not only will doing so help us sustain an attractive and fully functioning smile, but it could also protect our general health. This is because poor oral hygiene has been shown to contribute towards the development of chronic health problems including diabetes, heart disease, liver, thyroid and kidney problems and even Alzheimer’s disease.
When it comes to keeping your teeth and oral health in tip top condition there are various aspects to consider. These are:
- Getting the right oral care products to take proper care of your teeth.
- Using the right techniques for cleaning your teeth.
- Being mindful of your daily habits and choosing those which contribute towards great oral health.
Choosing the right oral care products
There are countless products that declare to be able to help us keep our teeth clean, and among them, dozens of brands to choose from. Brightly colored packaging and loud marketing claims only add to the confusion, meaning that unsurprisingly, many people are overwhelmed when it comes to deciding which oral care products they should choose.
Your toothbrush should be small-headed, round if possible and have soft to medium bristles. Anything too hard could damage the enamel of your teeth. A small-headed brush is easier to maneuver around your mouth and get those hard to reach areas. If possible, opt for an electric toothbrush as this will do a great deal of the work for you.
Choose a toothpaste and mouthwash that contains fluoride. Toothpastes that contain 1350-1500ppm fluoride (which you should be able to find on the label) are considered the most effective, unless our dentist tells you that you would benefit from a higher strength variety. Fluoride helps to prevent tooth decay by slowing the breakdown of enamel and speeding up the remineralization process.
Your cleaning technique
Brushing your teeth is the single most important part of your dental care routine. In order to perform the most thorough clean possible, we recommend that you follow these guidelines:
- Position your toothbrush at a 45-degree angle to your gums.
- Gently move the brush back and forth in short, tooth-wide strokes.
- Brush the outer surfaces of your teeth first, followed by the inner surfaces and finally the top/chewing surfaces of your teeth.
- Finally, brush your tongue.
Once you have finished brushing, you should ensure that you floss at least once per day. Flossing can be tricky if you have never done it before, but with patience and practice, most people get the hang of it fairly quickly. When you floss, make sure you follow the curves of your teeth horizontally rather than dragging the floss up and down. Make sure you go below the gum line but be careful not to force the floss against the soft tissue too harshly as this could damage your gums. Use clean sections of floss from tooth to tooth.
Good habits for your oral health
In addition to using the right products and brushing and flossing correctly, it is important to be mindful about your habits and lifestyle and how they might be affecting your oral health. Some of our top tips for good habits for great oral health include:
- Drink plenty of water. Water is the best thing you can do for your general health. Swapping sugar sodas for water will be extremely beneficial for your teeth, as will fruit juice, which contains high amounts of natural sugar. Drinking water will also help to dislodge any food debris or bacteria which could contribute towards the development of dental decay.
- Limit snacking. Snacking is the mortal enemy of healthy teeth since the sugars from the foods that we eat sit on our teeth until we brush them again, which is often many hours later. This means that plaque acids and tooth decay have time to develop.
- Chew gum. Chewing stimulates the production of saliva, which is our natural defence against dental decay. The extra saliva helps to neutralize plaque acids and wash away bacteria and food debris.
- See our dentist regularly. Our dentist has the skill and experience needed to be able to spot potential dental problems before they become painful or debilitating. This can benefit your overall dental and general health as well as save you from expensive treatment bills.
If you need more advice on dental care routines, our dedicated and knowledgeable team are on hand to help. Please don’t hesitate to contact our offices.