Maintaining good dental hygiene is one of the best things you can do for your overall health. In between your professional cleanings, you should follow healthy oral hygiene habits to keep your smile bright and reduce the risk of dental problems. Here are eight tips to implement into your daily routine for keeping your teeth healthy and clean between dental visits.
1. Develop Good Brushing Technique
Brushing with the right technique keeps your teeth clean and protects your gums. Your toothbrush should be positioned at a 45-degree angle to your gums, and you should use small circular motions instead of scrubbing back and forth. Aim to brush your teeth for two minutes twice per day.
2. Don’t Overdo It
Brushing twice per day is vital to your oral health, but it can be risky to brush too frequently or too aggressively. Over-brushing could cause gum recession, an irreversible issue that increases your risk of tooth loss. If you tend to brush too aggressively, try switching to your non-dominant hand.
3. Floss Daily
Try to floss once per day to maintain healthy teeth and gums between your dental cleanings. Flossing removes bacteria and food particles between your teeth and prevents cavities, gum disease, and other dental issues.
4. Use Mouthwash
Mouthwash helps to wash away bacteria and food particles. However, using mouthwash immediately after brushing your teeth may wash away the fluoride in your toothpaste. Instead, use mouthwash 30 minutes after brushing your teeth or after eating lunch or a snack.
5. Reduce Sugar Intake
Sugar causes acidity and bacterial growth on your teeth and gums, which can lead to tooth decay. You don’t have to give up sugar entirely to keep your teeth healthy, but cutting back can make a big difference. Reducing your intake of sugary sodas or juices can be especially helpful. When you do consume something sugary, try to brush your teeth about 30 minutes after to prevent plaque from forming.
6. Chew Sugar-Free Gum
Not only does chewing sugar-free gum after eating keep your breath fresh, but it also helps with dental hygiene. Chewing gum promotes saliva production, which prevents bacteria from building up in your mouth and causing tooth decay.
7. Drink Plenty of Water
If you’re dehydrated, you might experience dry mouth, which increases your risk of bacteria and plaque buildup. Water helps to rinse out your mouth and prevent plaque from forming on your teeth. Try to drink water frequently throughout the day, especially during or immediately after meals and snacks.
8. Quit Smoking
Smoking can stain your teeth, harm your gums, and increase plaque formation in your mouth. You might have an increased risk of oral cancer if you’re a smoker, too. Quitting or cutting back on smoking can protect your teeth and improve your overall health.
Maintaining oral hygiene is a daily effort, but it’s an important component of your health and happiness. If you have any questions or concerns about your dental hygiene, ask your dentist for advice during your visit. Additionally, consider incorporating regular dental check-ups into your routine to ensure proactive care and early detection of any potential oral health issues, allowing for timely intervention and personalized guidance to maintain a healthy smile.