Did you know that optimizing your dental care plan is essential to more than just the appearance and health of your mouth?
Yes, it’s true.
In addition to the wonderful advantages of having a healthy mouth – such as cavity-prevention, when a strong approach to oral care is adopted, a person’s overall health is also supported. In fact, recent studies have shown that maintaining good oral care routine can help prevent harmful diseases and ailments.
Can you tell if your dental care routine effectively meets your body’s oral and health care needs? In this article, we’ll answer that question while sharing essential tips to maximize your oral hygiene practice efforts.
Practice Good Tooth Brushing Techniques
Parents have been stressing the importance of regular tooth brushing to kids likely since the fifteenth century when the first toothbrush was invented. Dental hygiene practices have changed dramatically since the days of using boar-hair bristle toothbrushes. However, the simple act of cleaning your teeth with routine brushing remains mostly the same.
In fact, brushing your teeth is still just as relevant today as it was in the Middle Ages. Regular, routine brushing is still one of the best ways to prevent cavities and maintain a healthy mouth. However, an effective brushing technique is required to clean your teeth and to avoid health risks associated with poor oral hygiene.
How to brush your teeth properly — the main components.
- Toothbrush Angle. Hold your toothbrush in your mouth with the bristles held at a 45-degree angle towards the gum line. For chewing surfaces, keep the brush flat as you clean those areas of plaque and tartar. Use a fluoride toothpaste.
- Sweep the Surface. If you have a manual toothbrush, move the brush in full sweeping circles over the surfaces of your teeth and along the gumline. Avoid harsh scrubbing that may irritate gums and damage tooth enamel.
- Powered Toothbrushes Do the Work. For electric or sonic-powered toothbrushes, gently move the brush along all surfaces of your teeth and gums. Follow the recommended user instructions provided with your electric toothbrush.
- Brush Twice a Day. Twice daily brushing for two minutes per session is required. Aim to spend 30-seconds in each of the four quadrants of your mouth (upper left, lower left, top right, lower right). If consistent timing is a concern, consider a toothbrush with a built-in timer that signals when to move on to the next area of your mouth.
Use Regular Check-Ups to Promote Good Oral Care
Visiting dental care professionals regularly for routine check-ups and professional cleaning services promotes good oral hygiene and dental care. Following the oral care advice provided by your dentist and dental hygienists will help keep your teeth strong, your gums healthy, and further protect you against potential disease and tooth loss.
Schedule regular dental visits to allow for early detection of oral problems and prevent any potential issues from becoming a painful or serious health concern. Your dental professional is an excellent source for determining which dental care products are best for your teeth and mouth. For example, If gum health is of concern, they may recommend a toothbrush with built-in gum care options.
Floss Daily for Healthy Teeth and Gums
Flossing may not be everyone’s favorite bedtime ritual, but if you love having healthy teeth and gums, you should floss your teeth daily. Flossing is effective at stopping tooth decay because it reaches the parts of your teeth that a toothbrush simply can’t.
Additionally, flossing keeps gums healthy and prevents harmful oral diseases, like periodontitis and gingivitis. As with tooth brushing, a useful technique is vital for flossing efforts to remove plaque and trapped food particles from between teeth and under the gum line.
The Essentials of Flossing
- Floss daily. Once a day is fine, ideally before bedtime or after eating food that gets stuck between teeth.
- Floss under gums. Bacteria and food trapped under the gum line can lead to inflammation and bad breath. Be sure to slide the floss gently under the gum line between each tooth as you floss.
- Use interdental cleaners if needed. For some people with unique care needs, flossing may not be enough to properly clean both teeth and gums. If dental implements -like those in orthodontic treatments, or hard to reach areas are creating places for food to collect, ask your dental professional to recommend an alternative solution.
Replace Your Toothbrush Routinely
Bacteria in plaque, the sticky film that builds up on teeth, can cause tooth decay and gum disease if not removed properly. But, where does that bacteria go after brushing and flossing? Sometimes, that bacteria end up sticking to the bristles of our toothbrush. Over time, the bacteria may continue to grow on the toothbrush head and may eventually re-enter the mouth to create health problems.
To prevent bacteria that may be lingering on your toothbrush, it’s good practice to regularly replace your toothbrush, or toothbrush head if you have a powered toothbrush. In fact, the American Dental Association recommends replacing your toothbrush, or toothbrush head, every 3 months. To prevent dental issues from arising from forgetting to replace your toothbrush regularly, consider using a toothbrush subscription service to optimize your oral care routine.
Boost Your Oral Care Routine to Boost Your Overall Health
Good dental hygiene practices are key for maintaining superior oral and whole-body health. When a person’s oral care routine is optimized, the resulting benefits go far beyond having a clean-looking smile and fresh breath. Regular brushing, flossing, and visits to a dental professional are essential steps necessary for good oral health.
For more tips and tools to keep the health of your smile in peak condition, check our mission at Toothbrush For Life.