Starting the New Year with Good Dental Hygiene

Practicing good oral hygiene is essential for keeping your teeth strong and healthy and for reducing the risk of gum disease. While most people have a very basic understanding of what oral care involves, they don’t know enough to really have a long-term positive effect on their teeth and gum tissue. This overview can provide a better understanding of proper oral care, so you can avoid major problems in the future.

What Are Good Oral Hygiene Practices?

You may know that you should brush your teeth at least twice daily, but you may not be brushing them correctly. Starting with your oral care supplies, you should invest in a good soft-bristled toothbrush, which bears the approval seal from the American Dental Association. You should also buy a quality toothpaste that contains fluoride. The fluoride in toothpaste reinforces the tooth enamel and strengthens the teeth against decay-causing bacteria.

As you brush your teeth, lightly move the bristles over each tooth in a circular motion. Rather than trying to scrub your teeth vigorously, think of it more as polishing each tooth. By cleaning one tooth at a time, you can be sure to brush every tooth, especially those towards the back that might otherwise be neglected.

Resist the urge to rinse with water, since the water will flush the fluoride out of your mouth. Instead, it’s better to rinse with a mouthwash that also contains fluoride. After brushing, refrain from eating or drinking anything for the first 30 minutes, so the fluoride will have a chance to coat the teeth and gum tissue.

Additionally, you should floss once per day to remove food particles from between the teeth and near the gum line. Many people find it difficult to maneuver dental floss to reach the back portions of the mouth. However, you can by a flossing apparatus to make the process easier. It’s vital to floss each space to ensure food particles aren’t left in the mouth.

Tips for Improving Your Dental Care

  • Drink Plenty of Water

Aside from water benefiting the rest of the body, it also helps keep the mouth healthy. Drinking water after meals will flush sugar and sticky foods from the mouth, while also helping to reduce bad breath. Also, drinking more water means you’ll be drinking less sugary beverages, such as juice and soda.

  • Eat Crunchy Produce

When you eat crunchier veggies and fruits, you’re forcing your jaw muscles to do more work. This will keep your mouth strong and healthy. Additionally, the chewing action will help clean the teeth and remove plaque build-up.

  • Reduce Your Intake of Sugars and Acids

When you eat sugary food, that sugar lingers between the teeth, where it breeds the bacteria that erodes tooth enamel. Acidic foods, which even includes citrus fruits, act in a similar manner. By reducing the sugary and acidic foods and beverages you consume, you can keep your teeth in better condition.

While these practices are all essential to maintaining good oral health, seeing your dentist every six months is equally essential. By getting regular check-ups and teeth cleaning, you can find any emerging dental problems before they become serious. This is an opportunity for your dentist to treat problems with a less invasive and less costly procedure, which will allow you to keep your natural teeth in good condition for longer.

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