Follow these five easy steps to take care of your oral health at home:
Oral Health Priority: Brush your teeth
All experts agree that we should brush two times a day, every day. The American Dental Association (ADA) recommends that everyone should brush at least two times a day for a minimum of 2 minutes each time. Remember that brushing harder does not mean you can be done faster. Aggressive brushing should be avoided as it can cause issues in the long run. It’s best to use a soft bristle toothbrush with a small head. Some points to be mindful of include:
– Place your toothbrush at about 45-degree angle to the gums
– Use short gentle strokes (avoiding scrubbing)
– Brush all surfaces: outer, inner, and chewing surfaces.
If you choose to use an electric toothbrush, your technique will vary. Make sure you follow the manufacture’s recommendations and, if still uncertain, discuss with your dental hygienist or dentist.
Flossing helps to prevent tooth decay (especially between our teeth) and helps to maintain the health of our gums. Proper flossing technique is also essential and can make all the difference. Make sure that the floss tightly hugs your tooth and gently slide it beneath the gum line as well. Also, always remember to floss the backside of your last tooth in each corner of the mouth. You should floss a minimum of once per day (preferably before going to sleep) and ideally before you brush. Some things to remember when flossing:
- Use a piece of floss that is approximately 18 inches in length
- Gently slide the floss between the teeth towards the gumline (avid snapping the floss through)
- Hug each tooth and slide the floss beneath the gumline
- Move the floss up and down several times to remove debris
- Use a clean section of floss when moving from tooth to tooth
Clean your tongue
Don’t forget about your tongue. Bacteria not only builds up on your teeth. Bacteria and debris can build up on your tongue as well. This can cause bad breath (halitosis) and discolouration on your tongue. There are two main options for cleaning your tongue: brushing and scraping.
When cleaning your tongue, you should start at the very back of the tongue and gently work forward all the way to the tip. Make sure to clean the entire top surface of the tongue and rinse your mouth after.
Mouthwash is not a substitute for proper brushing and flossing, but it can be helpful to the health of our teeth and our gums. Therapeutic mouth rinses can help to reduce plaque, tooth decay, inflammation of gums, and bad breath. We know that there are lots of options out there and we would be happy to give you a more specific recommendation based on your needs. For now, to make it easier, we suggest looking for an alcohol-free rinse that has the American Dental Association (ADA) Seal of acceptance and following the use instructions provided.
Avoid Acidic and Sugary Foods and Beverages
Proper nutrition is not only a vital part of overall health, but it is also critical in maintaining good oral health. A well-balanced diet is necessary for good health and wellness. A diet high in sugar and acidic foods and beverages contributes to tooth decay (cavities). Some easy tips to keep in mind:
- Drink plenty of water
- Limit snacking
- Avoid drinking pop and juice
We hope that the above steps will help you to improve your oral health. Taking care of your oral health by doing your part at home is very important but it is not a substitute for regular dental visits. Your everyday dental hygiene routine should be complemented with a professional examination and any necessary treatment. If you need a dentist, we are just a phone call away. Contact Guelph Royal Dental Centre today.
DISCLAIMER: The advice offered is intended to be informational only and generic in nature. It is no way to offer a definitive diagnosis or specific treatment recommendations for your particular situation. Any advice provided is no substitute for proper evaluation and care by a qualified dentist.