A healthy mouth represents a healthy lifestyle. If you take care of your dental hygiene then you can avoid several diseases arising from your mouth.
The basics of oral health entail brushing daily, visiting the dentist every 6 months and flossing regularly.
Though you should constantly enforce these practices and others so that you maintain good oral health for a longer period of time.
This article discusses effective Dental Hygiene Practices for Better Oral Health.
Incorporate them into your lifestyle to obtain better oral health soon.
1. Regular Brushing Twice a Day
It goes without saying that you should brush daily.
But you should especially not skip tooth brushing at night.
In fact, brushing your teeth at night is actually more important than brushing at day.
Night teeth brushing removes the plaque and tartar that accumulates in your mouth from regularly eating and drinking all day.
Hence, it is much more important to brush your teeth at night and rid yourself of germs that can potentially harm your oral health and cause oral diseases.
While you are brushing do not forget the brushing basics.
- Brushing in circular motions and not aggressively from right to left.
- Using a soft bristle toothbrush that does not harm the gum either the enamel.
- Change your toothbrush after every 3 months
- Dispose of your toothbrush when the bristles harden
- Do not hasten in tooth brushing and brush slowly for 3 minutes
- Do not keep the toothbrush in the washroom
- Also, brush your tongue to prevent bad breath
- Brush thoroughly the inside and outside of the teeth.
Once you follow these teeth brushing basics then you are likely to not have any issue with your brushing routine.
Therefore, regular brushing is one of the essential practices for oral health that you cannot miss out.
No other hygiene and oral care are enough to compensate for this.
Moving onto other practices.
2. Include Fluoride
You must have heard about fluoride being beneficial for your teeth.
Toothpaste ads keep telling that but fewer people make a conscious effort to include fluoride in their dental routine.
You could use fluoridated water, fluoride mouth rinses, fluoride mouthwashes or fluoride toothpaste to strengthen your teeth.
It is known to prevent a tooth cavity. In fact, a lack of fluoride can result in tooth decay as it gives your teeth a protective barrier.
Moreover, if you brush and floss but do not use fluoride then you are still susceptible to tooth decay and cavities.
The easiest way of getting fluoride is to buy fluoride toothpaste.
Brushing is already part of your routine but using fluoride toothpaste will incorporate another hygiene practice discreetly in your routine.
However, people are prone to make a mistake out of habit.
You should not rinse your mouth after brushing but spit out the toothpaste so that the fluoride stays there for long.
3. Floss Daily
Flossing is a largely ignored practice.
While you may brush regularly that too with fluoride toothpaste, there is a chance you will still forget to floss.
Though brushing cannot remove what flossing can: Bacteria and plaque between the teeth.
Hence, flossing is important to prevent the accumulation of tartar in the places the toothbrush will not reach effectively.
Alongside it will remove stuck food that can result in your bad breath.
Use the floss but pushing it till the gum line and then bring it upwards through an up and down motion.
Do not snap the floss as it is an ineffective way to remove plaque. Use it gently!
You should have about 18 inches of floss to do it properly.
Furthermore, wrap it around your middle fingers and is tightly placed in your index finger and thumb.
Next, slide it beneath the gum line and between your teeth carefully.
4. Care for Dry Mouth
If you have a condition known as xerostomia or dry mouth then you need to take special care of your oral health.
The salivary glands produce less saliva resulting in a drier mouth.
Dry Mouth is usually due to medicines and health conditions hence, you should change your medications if possible.
However, if you cannot change your medicines, then you should fight dry mouth by drinking plenty of water, also chewing gum or candies and avoiding any tobacco products as well as alcohol.
Not everyone faces Dry Mouth but regularly drinking water and chewing sugarless gum can keep your saliva flowing and it will also keep your bad breath at bay.
5. Stop Using Alcoholic Drinks and Tobacco Products
Your oral health and hygiene will suffer if you do not quit or limit alcohol and tobacco such as in smoking.
Smoking is injurious to your health and directly affects the immune system.
Therefore smoking interferes with the body’s healing process and hinders the healing of tissues.
Hence, some diseases are caused by smoking and some are exacerbated by it.
It can also cause the infamous gingivitis in people and it may lead to oral cancer as well.
Thus, smoking is, without doubt, bad oral hygiene and health practice.
It not only affects your health but also your appearance.
Your teeth become strongly yellow and your mouth gives off a bad smell.
Hence, smoking is terrible to one’s health but especially to your oral health.
Also, alcohol is bad for your health but certain types like red wine can stain your teeth heavily.
Quitting smoking and limiting alcohol use can bring drastic positive changes to your hygiene.
6. Regulating What You Eat and Drink
Most dental problems stem from consuming an unhealthy diet.
Eating lots of sugary food can cause cavities and also erode your enamel slowly.
Sugars turn into acids which lead to enamel erosion and cavity.
Tea, bread, pasta, coffee, crackers and some acidic fruits will also harm the same way so it is better to be mindful about them.
Starch and sugars break down into acid on which certain bacteria feed.
Therefore, tooth decay, cavity, enamel erosion is likely.
You can control this by bringing down your sugar intake to only 5 to 10 percent of total daily calories.
Moreover, you can replace starchy foods and processed foods with fresh vegetables and dairy products.
These should be rich in fiber and sugarless.
You do not necessarily need to cut off starch and sugar products from your diet but limit their use immensely for maintaining oral health.
Though, you should not only control and regular what you eat but also what you drink.
It goes without saying that sugary drinks such as juices, soda and other carbonated beverages can cause cavities.
Therefore, you should choose to drink more water which is better for your entire health and not just oral health.
You can resort to water and unsweetened drinks but can take sweetened drinks only during meals, that too a small quantity.
If you drink water after every meal then it will wash out the sticky foods stuck in your teeth and the acids from sugars and starch.
Drink more water and less sugary drinks to maintain good oral health care.
7. Dental Hygiene for Kids
The milk or primary teeth start falling off by the age of 6 however, that does not render the primary teeth useless.
If these teeth get tooth decay then your child’s adult tooth will not grow properly.
Hence, primary teeth need to be taken care of as well and children are more prone to decay and cavity as they consume a lot of sugary food.
Steps you can take to ensure your child’s dental hygiene:
- Washing their gums with a warm wet cloth to remove sugars from gums.
- Give toddlers more water in and give milk or juice for mealtimes.
- As soon as the primary teeth appear, make them brush twice a day with very little toothpaste.
- Help them brush in circular motions until they learn themselves.
- Make regular visits to the dentist with your child 6 months after their first tooth appears.
Dental hygiene is as much important for kids as it is for adults.
Moreover, if you start young then they will maintain these hygiene habits for the rest of their life.
8. Don’t Miss the Mouthwash
You may brush, floss and even use fluoride toothpaste but you may not make use of mouthwashes and mouth rinses.
A mouthwash can help reduce your plaque by washing away the acids in your mouth.
It also remineralizes your teeth by providing them with certain minerals not present in your toothpaste, for instance, fluoride.
Moreover, you can clean off areas with a mouthwash where a toothbrush cannot reach such as around your gums.
They also contain antibacterial and essential oils which can help keep the bacteria at bay.
Mouthwash isn’t a necessity but it complements brushing and flossing as a good oral health practice.
It can give you extra protection for your oral care but it cannot substitute brushing or flossing.
9. For Best Dental Hygiene Visit the Dentist
You must have heard this several times, “visit your dentist twice a year”.
Well, it is a completely true statement, you should have a checkup with your dentist every 6 months.
But why should you go to your dentist when you have no oral health problem?
There are some oral health problems that you cannot see but your dentist can.
Moreover, they will do an X-ray once a year to check thoroughly if you need any dental care.
In your checkup, they will look for plaque, tartar, gum disease, cavities, decay, and even oral cancer.
If you do not need any extensive procedure, then they will carry out routine teeth cleaning to clean off any hardened tartar and plaque.
If you keep your oral health in check by regular dental visits and by following these practices then you will have to go to the dentist less frequently in a few years’ time.
Dental Hygiene practices are not only important for your oral health but also for your entire well-being.
A single toothache can disturb your daily life and routine.
Hence, you need to be careful regarding your oral health and it’s about time you take it seriously.
Additionally, you can also avail of dental hygiene services in a dental office.
A dental hygienist carries out this dental practice in their dental office or dental school.
It prevents tooth decay and other diseases to teeth and gums.
While the dentist and the dental practice can help people maintain their hygiene, it is also better to take these hygiene precaution starting today for better public health.