You can help keep your smile healthy for life by following these oral health tips.
1. Brush for at least two minutes, twice a day.
For good oral hygiene, you will want to brush your teeth at least two times a day, ideally in the morning and before bed, for two to four minutes each time. Start with your brush at a 45-degree angle in a sweeping motion. Brush your upper teeth using a sweeping downward motion, and your lower teeth using a sweeping upward motion. You should only brush back and forth on chewing surfaces.
2. Floss each night.
Flossing your teeth every night before you brush them not only helps remove debris but also minimizes the risk of tooth decay. It helps keep your gums healthy too. Use a piece of floss up to 18 inches long so you can use a fresh area of floss for every few teeth. Keep in mind the floss should rub against the teeth in a motion that creates a forward or backward 'C' shape, wrapping the floss around each tooth.
3. Rinse with mouthwash daily.
Germs can build up in your mouth, but rinsing your mouth with mouthwash every day can help kill them. Since mouthwash is able to go places where floss and toothbrushes can't, it could help clear your mouth of debris that could irritate the gums and cause tooth decay.
4. Scrape or brush your tongue every day.
After brushing your teeth, bacteria can still remain on the tongue. Brushing or scraping your tongue as part of your daily routine can help to get rid of this bacteria, and also helps to freshen your breath. Be sure to use one toothbrush for brushing, and a different toothbrush for scraping your tongue.
5. Attend regular dentist appointments.
Visit the dentist, at least twice a year, for a dental examination and cleaning. Dentists and hygienists have tools and techniques to clean your teeth far more thoroughly than you can at home. Regular exams also mean your dentist can find any issues that are developing sooner and offer treatment options to prevent them from getting worse.
6. Don’t put off dental treatments.
Lots of people have fears that keep them from receiving the dental treatments they need, while others tend to skip treatments because they think it will cost too much. The truth is, that preventive treatments and check-ups don't cost as much as the extensive care of a dental implant or crown. Avoiding required treatments can negatively affect your oral hygiene and cost more in the long run.
7. Opt for healthy foods and limit sugar.
The food you eat has an effect on your whole body, including your teeth. So be sure to eat plenty of fruits and veggies, and minimize your consumption of sugar which leads to cavities. Calcium and Vitamin D are necessary for maintaining the health of gums and teeth. You may take supplements, but it is better to drink milk, fortified orange juice, and to eat yogurt, broccoli, cheese, and other dairy products. Vitamin B complex is also essential for the protection of gums and teeth from cracking and bleeding.
8. Avoid alcohol, coffee, and pop
Beverages containing additives such as corn syrup and food dye can make white teeth appear dull and discoloured. It is best to choose beverages such as milk, which helps to strengthen teeth and build stronger enamel, and water which hydrates your body.
9. Use a mouth guard to protect your teeth.
If you participate in sports or any other contact activities, we recommend wearing a mouth guard to help keep your gums and teeth from getting injured. Lots of dental offices can provide you with mouth guards that are custom made to fit your mouth comfortably and protect them from impacts and damage.
10. Limit habits that are harmful to your teeth.
Steer clear of tobacco and other substances that are harmful to your teeth, and try to break habits such as biting your nails or opening bottle caps with your teeth. If you have the habit of sucking your thumb, lip-biting, tongue-thrusting, or clenching your teeth, consult a dentist for treatment options.