Top 10 Tips for Healthy Teeth & Gums
Good dental hygiene is essential. We all know that, and those that put some effort into maintaining good oral habits reap the rewards long term.
Brushing and flossing are, of course, the foundations of a solid dental routine. Besides, there are several other things that you should consider adding to your dental hygiene routine to help keep your teeth and gums healthy.
A healthy mouth is a gateway to a healthy body. Good dental hygiene benefits your entire wellbeing.
BRUSH YOUR TEETH TWICE DAILY – TWO MINUTES EACH TIME.
Do you know the 2 x 2 rule? This is a simple rule that you should brush your teeth twice a day. Each time your brushing should be for a minimum of 2 minutes each.
The 2 x 2 rule of dental hygiene, if implemented well, will be a significant step in helping you keep plaque at bay.
Children should be introduced to this concept early, establishing a solid foundational dental hygiene practice, and making that a lifelong habit. To make this 2-minute brushing routine an enjoyable exercise for children, you could play some music and use a time that prompts them to change mouth quadrants.
For ideal results, you should use a soft-bristled toothbrush. Use fluoride toothpaste or ask your dentist to recommend a toothpaste that is best for you.
The technique of brushing your teeth is as important as the need to brush them 2×2 every day.
The right techniques ensure that that you are not damaging the soft tissue around the teeth as you clean them.
Use small circular motions, and focus on clean all surfaces of your teeth, not just the front. Make an effort to brush along the gum line.
Electric toothbrushes have been around for some time now. Some people find that these help them with the quality of their brushing.
You will see a poster in dental offices that says, “Flossing is important. Floss just those teeth that you want to keep!”
Ideally, it would be best if you flossed your teeth every night before brushing. This will help ensure that nothing remains lodged between your teeth after brushing. Food that remains lodged in your mouth and the film of bacteria that builds over it is what turns into plaque.
Why is flossing important? If you don’t floss, then small particles of food and other deposits could stay lodged in your teeth. These particles are tiny and lodged in the space between teeth. Your toothbrush may not be able to enter this space.
This lodged food over time leads to tooth decay. To help prevent this tooth decay from occurring, add two minutes of dental Flossing into your oral care routine.
Some people give up flossing because sensitive gums may hurt with Flossing. However, this is normal, and the sense of hurt or discomfort will disappear once you’ve been flossing for just a few days.
BRUSH YOUR TONGUE
It is as important to brush your tongue as it is to brush your teeth. Brushing your tongue with a proper technique helps to reduce the risk of halitosis (bad breath), inflammation, and even yeast infections.
To brush your teeth, you could use a tongue scraper or equally use your toothbrush.
Some toothbrushes come with a tongue scraper on the back so that you can use the end of your brush to scrape your tongue. The brush or the tongue scraper’s task is to use a rough surface to break up the bacteria that might be sticking to your tongue.
The best technique to brush your tongue is to do this right after you brush your teeth. Rinse your toothbrush, apply a little toothpaste, and scrub your tongue back and forth, as well as side to side. Cover the entire area of the tongue. Take care not to scrape too vigorously as that can cause your tongue to bleed.
REPLACE YOUR TOOTHBRUSH AT THE SIGNS OF WEAR
A toothbrush should ideally be replaced after a period of about 3 to 4 months of use. This replacement is needed so that the bristles don’t fray and cause damage to your gums.
Damaged or frayed toothbrushes also fail to clean your teeth effectively. Therefore, the damage from a worn-out toothbrush is double – poor cleaning of the teeth and the potential of damage to your gums.
An excellent practice to care for your toothbrush is to rinse it well after use and store it so that it can dry quickly.
VISIT YOUR DENTIST EVERY SIX MONTHS
Visiting your dentist is also an essential part of your oral care routine. You should schedule to see your dentist once every six months or with the frequency recommended by your dentist.
Your regular dental hygiene visit will help the dentist pick up on conditions or issues like early signs of cavities and gum disease before they become major, and you need further treatment.
Your regular dental hygiene visits also serve the purpose of ensuring that any plaque or tartar that has built up is removed so that your teeth and gums stay healthy.
MAINTAIN A HEALTHY DIET
A healthy diet is a pivotally important part of a good oral care plan.
Eat foods that help keep your teeth and gums healthy. Food that helps boost your teeth and gums’ strength include leafy greens, almonds, yogurt, and cheese. Focus on adding foods to your diet that are high in calcium.
A mouth-healthy diet consists of foods like whole grains, fruits, vegetables, and lean meats. Snack on nuts when you must.
Simultaneously, you should avoid foods loaded with sugars such as pop and candy. You should especially avoid sugary foods that stick to your teeth like toffee.
These food choices will help your overall health and boost the health of your teeth and gums.
If you are unsure about certain foods, speak with your dentist, who can advise you on the foods to add to your diet and the foods to avoid.
OTHER ORAL CARE PRODUCTS
While brushing and flossing, your teeth are integral to a good oral care routine; other products could help further boost your oral health.
Mouthwash: These come in broadly two variants cosmetic and therapeutic. Therapeutic mouthwashes are available both as over-the-counter medicines and those that are sold upon prescription by your dentist.
Some therapeutic mouthwashes can indeed help reduce plaque, gingivitis, bad breath, and tooth decay. These must, however, be taken only upon prescription by your dentist.
Cosmetic mouthwashes, on the other hand, are generally a feel-good mouth rinse with minimal therapeutic benefit.
Children under six years of age should not use mouthwash unless directed by a dentist. This restriction is because young children can inadvertently swallow the mouthwash.
Oral irrigators & Interdental cleaners: These are useful aids and can help your overall oral health. However, take care that these are used as additions and are not a replacement for a regular brushing and flossing routine.
Chewing Gum: The jury is out on the usefulness of chewing gum. However, chewing gum is defined as useful in oral care by the ADA.
Chewing sugar-free gum has been noticed to increase saliva flow, reducing plaque acid, strengthening the teeth, and reducing tooth decay.
Only chewing gums that are sugar-free can be considered to be beneficial. These chewing gums need to be sweetened by non-cavity-causing sweeteners such as aspartame, sorbitol, or mannitol.
STAY HYDRATED THROUGHOUT THE DAY
Adequate hydration is an imperative for overall better health. Hydration helps to maintain a healthy flow of saliva.
Saliva helps move food particles through your mouth and prevents them from getting lodged between your teeth. This helps lower the bacteria that could grow on the lodged food particles in your mouth.
A healthy level of saliva production also helps to keep your mouth comfortable and moist. A key reason for the ADA to recommend chewing gum after meals is to boost the after-meal saliva flow.
NO SMOKING OR CHEWING TOBACCO
Smoking and chewing tobacco have long been established as injurious to your overall health. In addition to the danger of cancer from smoking, smoking and chewing tobacco also damage your teeth visibly.
Smoking and tobacco chewing stains the teeth and can cause gum disease (periodontal disease).
If not eliminated early, this could even lead to tooth loss.
Needless to say, if you smoke, one of the most significant boosts for your overall health, as well as oral health, will come quitting smoking.
USE DENTAL SEALANTS AS NEEDED
The Canadian Dental Association defines as appropriate treatments the selective use of sealants for both primary and permanent teeth based on caries risk assessment and diagnosis by a dentist.
The dental s fills the depressions and grooves (fissures) of your molars and premolars, helping protect your teeth from cavities and plaque.
While people of all ages can derive benefit from the application of sealants, the best benefit is perhaps for children and teenagers as their brushing habits are not yet well-formed and, as a consequence, have a higher rate of cavities.
Top 5 Don’ts for Healthy Teeth & Gums
1. Don’t forget to replace your toothbrush! It would be best if you replace a toothbrush every 3 to 4 months. If you have an electric toothbrush, you need to replace the head rather than purchase a brand new toothbrush.
2. Don’t brush immediately after eating a meal! Specifically, don’t brush your teeth right after eating citrus fruits. If you brush your teeth immediately after eating acidic food, the acid in the food can act on the enamel under the toothbrush’s force. It can cause tiny particles of enamel to break away in the brushing. It is best to wait an hour after eating before brushing your teeth.
3. Don’t excessively use bleaching for your teeth. While they might make your teeth whiter, excessive bleaching can make your teeth very sensitive to hot and cold foods. This excessive bleaching could open the doorway to a host of other dental problems.
4. Don’t ignore any pain or discomfort in your teeth. Toothaches tend to be a sign of a larger problem. A dentist’s quick treatment can help you prevents the minor toothache blowing up into a major dental problem. Make sure to visit your dentist as soon as you sense a toothache or other discomfort in your mouth.
5. Don’t binge on Pop, Desserts, and candies. In addition to disbalancing your overall health, these foods tend to be highly acidic and will wear away your dental enamel. The wearing away of the dental enamel is a slow process, and it takes a long time to be overtly visible. By which time the damage is done. Eating excessive amounts of sugary treats will cause plaque to grow and stay sustained. With that, your chance of getting cavities will increase manifold.
Where your oral care is concerned, good oral care will help you keep your natural teeth lifelong. Bad oral habits or poor oral care will lead to the loss of your natural teeth.
Start to practice good oral care by following the list of 10 recommendations. Equally, follow our advice for the five don’ts as well.
If you follow our recommendations and avoid the don’ts, you will be able to retain good oral health and, as a direct benefit of that, a bright, healthy smile.
Give us a call today. The phone number of Aurora Family Dentistry on Bayview Ave. in Aurora, Ontario is 905-751-0009