If you want to have great dental health it all starts with the basics. Cleaning!
No matter what amazing procedures modern dentistry can provide, most dentists will agree that nothing is as good as your own natural well-maintained teeth.
Good dental hygiene tips are an important part of any trip to your dental professional. The more you can care for your own teeth, the better you will be in the long run.
As always, prevention is better than cure
Humans are living longer, and for the most part, we are outlasting our teeth. Millions of cycles of chewing, acidic foods and drinks, refined sugars and stress-related clenching and grinding, all put our teeth under significant stress. This means how your dental care at home is critical for long term oral health.
So why do we need to clean?
Our mouths are filled with bacteria and they join together to form sticky plaque which adheres to the surface of the tooth. If this is not removed regularly it can cause tooth decay and gum disease.
The foods we eat can also stick to our teeth which means that the bacteria have a source of nutrients, so they can go on to cause more harm.
It all starts with the brush.
The humble and inexpensive toothbrush is the key to great oral health. Soft or extra – soft brushes are recommended by dental professionals as they are less likely to strip away gum tissue or wear away precious tooth structure.
What is important is to clean every surface of every tooth and to concentrate on the gum line area. If you have a system, you can efficiently clean your teeth without missing important spots in around 2 minutes.
Clean the biting surfaces, ensuring you get into the grooves. Clean the tongue side (inside) and cheek side (outside) surfaces until they feel smooth with your tongue. Your tongue is very sensitive, so if your teeth still feel rough or furry it is important to go back over these areas until they feel smooth. Electric toothbrushes can also make cleaning easier for those who have issues with dexterity or who perhaps want to make brushing a little more fun. They are a great motivator for kids.
Your toothbrush can also be used on the soft tissues of the mouth to remove plaque that contributes to bad breath and other issues. These include the tongue, the inside of your cheeks and the roof of your mouth. It may make you gag when you do this, but you will be amazed at the amount of plaque that comes off your soft tissues. Gum health is an important part of overall oral health, so it is not to be missed.
Cleaning in between teeth also removes nasty and smelly plaque that contributes to tooth decay and gum disease. Since your regular brush is unable to access these areas you need to rely on dental floss.
Flossing is not very popular because many people find it difficult. However, there is no other way to remove plaque from between teeth as effectively. Find a flat profile ribbon-shaped floss and use about 30 cm in length. This will help you wrap it around your fingers to give enough grip to gently pull it down between teeth. Many people become put off flossing if they notice bleeding from the gums. It is important to note that in most cases, healthy gums, free from plaque do not bleed significantly. So the more you floss, the cleaner your gums become and the less likely they are to bleed.
There are also items such as floss mates which make gripping it easier. Inter dental brushes are useful for larger spaces between teeth, particularly where you might get larger amounts of food debris accumulating. Your oral health professional can show you how to use these, and what size is best.
For most people, toothpaste does not need to be an expensive purchase. Most kinds of toothpaste from the chemist or supermarket contain an appropriate amount of fluoride which has long been proven safe and beneficial part of dental care. Fluoride is absorbed into the surface of the tooth with the other minerals and makes it stronger and more resistant to decay and erosion.
If you are getting older, have a higher decay rate, or sensitive teeth, then alternative kinds of toothpaste may be suggested by your oral health professional.
Chewing sugar-free gum after lunch or snacks will stimulate your own natural saliva which is also a great defense against tooth decay. If you minimize snacking, sugars and acidic drinks you will further reduce your risk of dental issues.
Not much has changed when it comes to the preventive foundations of good oral health.
Brushing twice a day, after breakfast and before bed, flossing in the evenings and using fluoride toothpaste is usually enough to keep most mouths happy and healthy. And of course, see your dentist regularly!