10 Dental Tips for Great Dental Hygiene at Home
It is recommended that you visit the dentist twice a year. But in between, you can practice great dental hygiene at home with these 10 practical dental tips.
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Dental hygiene isn’t just necessary to achieve a pearly white smile. Good dental hygiene also is good for your health.
Digestion starts as soon as we begin chewing. We use our teeth and saliva to break down food so it can be properly digested and used by our bodies. If our teeth are in poor condition, then this may limit our food choices which could affect our health.
For example, imagine tooth sensitivity which makes it difficult to bite down on fruits and vegetables. In this scenario, we not only limit our food choices, but we also miss out on the benefits of nutritious, healthy foods.
This is why following dental tips and dental hygiene routines are so vital. Not only to avoid common dental problems but also to improve our overall health.
Ready to practice great dental hygiene at home?
Read on to discover our top ten practical dental tips to use at home.
10 Practical Dental Tips for Great Dental Hygiene
If you’re visiting the dentist twice a year and brushing your teeth regularly, then you’re off to a great start. However, there’s a lot more we can be doing to ensure our teeth stay healthy and strong. Explore the following dental tips to use at home to improve your dental hygiene.
1. Floss Everyday
Floss at least once a day. Use a piece of floss long enough, around 18 inches, to thoroughly reach in between your teeth. Slide the floss gently up and down between your teeth curving the floss at times to reach below the gumline.
This should be done gently to reduce the risk of harming gum tissue.
Flossing removes plaque build-up which can cause cavities. It also reduces bad breath resulting from plaque build-up. Plaque build-up can also result in bigger problems down the line such as tooth decay and gum disease.
2. Use Flouride Toothpaste
Fluoride prevents tooth decay and cavities, repairs tooth enamel, and acts a protective barrier for your mouth.
When selecting a toothpaste, make sure the label or ingredients advertise that it contains fluoride. Use the toothpaste as directed.
If you have children, always make sure to supervise them when brushing their teeth and keep fluoride toothpaste out of their reach. Children tend to swallow toothpaste and in high amounts, this could be toxic to children.
3. Drink Enough Water
Drinking enough water promotes the production and use of saliva. Saliva helps to protect teeth from decay and acids, aids in digestion and protects the mouth from germs.
Drinking water also counteracts the negative effects of dry mouth. Dry mouth increases your risk of tooth decay and gum disease.
Aim to drink 64 oz of water per day or more depending on your body weight.
4. Clean Your Tongue
Clean your tongue using your toothbrush or a tongue scraper on a daily basis.
Cleaning your tongue removes bad bacteria which cause bad breath. This bacteria can also cause other oral hygiene problems such as gum disease.
5. Limit Snacking
Snacking in between meals doesn’t allow our saliva to neutralize acids successfully.
Saliva needs a chance to neutralize and rebuffer the minerals needed to maintain healthy enamel after consuming acidic or sugary foods and drinks. This process can take anywhere from 30 to 60 minutes.
Plan to wait 30 to 60 minutes after eating or drinking to allow saliva to provide the enamel with a protective barrier before brushing.
6. Brush Before Bed
Brushing at night is the most important time to brush because the production of saliva, your mouth’s defense against bacteria, decreases in the evening. Brushing before bed also removes bacteria and plaque before they have a chance to affect your teeth overnight.
When bacteria are allowed to stay on your teeth for long periods of time they turn into plaque. This plaque can then turn into tartar which causes cavities, gum disease, and tooth loss. Tartar can also only be removed by your dentist.
7. Reduce Sugary and Acidic Substances
Bacteria thrive on sugary substances. When bacteria are exposed to sugar it creates acid which then negatively impacts your teeth. This results in cavities and tooth decay.
Drinks with high ph levels such as soda, wine, and fruit juices should be limited. Highly acidic beverages like these promote enamel erosion which can expose the yellow part of the tooth known as dentin. Not only does this cause our pearly whites to turn yellow, but it also can cause tooth sensitivity which can affect our dietary choices.
8. Avoid Bad Habits
Some common bad oral habits include smoking or using tobacco products, drinking coffee, and consuming alcohol. These habits should be avoided at all costs or reduced to lessen the risk of dental problems.
Other bad habits to avoid include clenching your jaw and grinding your teeth. This habit may be more difficult to kick if it happens when you’re sleeping, but your dentist can provide you with a mouth guard for sleeping. You should also use a mouth guard when playing sports to reduce your risk of dental injury.
9. Create a Brushing Routine
Brush your teeth twice a day for two minutes in the morning and at night. When brushing, use gentle circular motions on the tooth’s surface to properly remove plaque and bacteria.
Place your brush near the gum line at a 45-degree angle while using short back and forth, up and down motions to clean the sides and tops of your teeth.
Use short vertical strokes to clean the backs of the teeth as well.
If you need help timing your brushing routine, try listening to a song or setting a timer.
10. Keep Your Dentist Informed
Let your dentist know if you are experiencing bleeding gums, tooth sensitivity, or any pain in your mouth. Also, inform your dentist of anything unusual changes such as a lump or a sore.
These symptoms may indicate the beginning of oral diseases.
Daily Dental Tips and Advice
For more dental tips and advice speak with your dentist. Your dentist will be most familiar with your tooth and gum health and will be able to make suggestions based on your individual needs.
Need to schedule a dentist appointment? Live in Aurora, Colorado or the surrounding area? Contact us today to book your next dental appointment with a dental office who puts your care first.