Good Dental Hygiene
There are billions of bacteria inside your mouth at any given time. While some of these bacteria are necessary to maintain oral health, most of them build up into plaque and can lead to less-than-desirable outcomes such as cavities and gum disease. To preserve your mouth's health, it's important to practice good dental hygiene habits every single day. Here are some best practices to ensure that your smile stays as healthy as possible.
Use Your Toothbrush Correctly
While you may assume there's no "wrong" way to brush your teeth, there's plenty of evidence to the contrary. Brushing your teeth incorrectly is almost as bad as not brushing your teeth at all! Improper brushing techniques do not remove plaque and can lead to further problems. To remove plaque more effectively, be sure to brush your teeth in circular motions while applying enough pressure so that the plaque is dislodged.
Another common mistake people make when brushing their teeth is not brushing their tongues. Plaque can build up on the tongue as well, leading to halitosis and other oral health problems. Make sure to brush your tongue gently every time you brush your teeth. Additionally, keep in mind that dentists recommend that you brush your teeth for at least two minutes, so be sure to take your time.
Brush Twice a Day
It's common knowledge that proper dental care involves brushing twice a day, yet many of us still go to bed without brushing our teeth. This mistake allows germs and plaque to accumulate in our mouths all night. When plaque is not removed often enough, it hardens on the teeth and becomes difficult to remove. Brushing twice a day prevents plaque and tartar buildup and helps improve gum health.
Floss Before You Brush
Using dental floss regularly before you brush your teeth has many dental hygiene benefits. While your toothbrush may do a great job of removing most of the residue from your teeth, floss can reach places your toothbrush can't. In addition, flossing regularly improves the health and strength of your gums.
It's best to floss your teeth before you brush, instead of after. After all, you wouldn't choose to sweep your floor after you mop it, would you? When you floss before you brush, you're getting out all that plaque from between your teeth to where it can be easily brushed away.
Eat and Drink for Dental Health Fortunately, simple diet and lifestyle changes also have significant benefits when it comes to dental hygiene. Choosing to munch on fresh, crunchy produce can help to remove plaque from your teeth while adding more fiber to your diet. Things like celery or apples are perfect examples of foods that can help improve your oral health.
Avoiding lots of sugar is another way to improve your overall dental health. Sugar encourages the growth of bacteria that produce acid in the mouth, which can lead to the erosion of enamel on your teeth. This process ultimately leads to cavities when left unchecked. Also, be mindful of acidic drink intake as well, such as diet sodas.
Another effective strategy to help improve your oral health is to drink plenty of water, especially after meals. This can help reduce the acid in your mouth and wash away food particles and stickiness associated with certain foods.
Add Mouthwash to Your Care Plan
Many people don't understand the advantages of using mouthwash and therefore skip it entirely. Mouthwash helps keep your mouth clean in several ways. Not only does mouthwash reduce the amount of acid present in the mouth, but it also remineralizes your teeth and cleans those hard-to-reach areas around your gums.
Just like toothpaste, there's a mouthwash for everyone. Some types are best for children, while others may help with sensitive teeth. Prescription mouthwash is also available to help treat gingivitis and reduce bacteria in the mouth.
Visit Your Dentist Regularly
While your everyday efforts are critical to your overall oral health, it's still important to see your dentist for regular checkups. Dentists are trained to spot potential issues that you cannot see yourself. Additionally, they can remove calculus and identify cavities that you may not have yet noticed. You may receive fluoride treatments as well to increase the strength and health of your teeth.
While most insurance companies cover dental visits twice a year, some may allow more frequent visits. If this is the case for you, be sure to take advantage of it. An ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure, as they say. Take care of your teeth and your mouth. For more information on our dental care services or to schedule your next visit, contact Delaware Smile Center today. Call (302) 285-7645.