You have heard it since you were a child – brush and floss your teeth. It is the daily habit that has been instilled in us to help us achieve good oral health. But, is that all that you have to do to achieve good oral health? Simply put – no. Proper oral hygiene is not just important for preventing things like tooth decay or gum disease, but so much more. When you do these 5 things, you can prevent dental problems from forming or worsening and optimize your oral health
Brushing your teeth twice a day is just as important as your parents told you. But, while consistency is certainly important, so is the type of toothbrush you use and how you use it. Use either ran electric or handheld soft-bristled toothbrush. An electric toothbrush is ideal because it can reduce more plaque than manual brushing alone. As far as technique goes, be thorough and aim to get every surface of your teeth (front, back, and chewing surface) and don’t forget to brush your tongue!
Flossing may feel like a pain in the butt, just an extra step, but it is very important. If you have noticed your gums bleeding when you brush your teeth or occasionally floss, it may be a sign that you have not been flossing enough or properly. Your toothbrush cannot reach the tiny spaces in between your teeth so it is important to floss to get any food that is stuck in between that would otherwise lead to decay.
3. Skip Soda and Tobacco
The phosphoric acid and citric acid commonly found in sodas can actually damage and diminish the surface of your teeth, which does not regenerate. It is for this reason that soda should be limited as much as possible. Tobacco is bad for your health for many reasons, least of which is oral health. Tobacco can permanently stain your teeth, eat away at your gums, degrades the bone that supports the structure of your teeth, and can lead to oral cancer.
4. Use Mouthwash
You may be brushing and flossing regularly, thinking you have it all covered but don’t forget to use mouthwash! Mouthwash can kill the bad bacteria in your mouth, helping you maintain good breath and strong teeth.
5. Visit Your Dentist
Home dental care is incredibly important but you also need to visit your dentist every 6 months or if you are experiencing a dental problem. When you routinely visit the dentist you will get x-rays to ensure everything is looking ok under the surface, dental cleaning, protective coatings and sealants, dental treatment and repair, and so much more.