One of the best ways to ensure continued oral and dental health is to practice good oral hygiene. In addition to preventing future health issues, having a regular and effective hygiene routine ensures a beautiful smile and prevents bad breath.
Of course, you know you need to brush and floss your teeth, but what are the most effective ways to perform such tasks? What other steps should you take? Keep reading for a breakdown of proper oral hygiene, so you can keep your mouth happy and healthy.
When bacteria breaks down the food you eat, it can cause acids that affect your teeth and gums, as well as contributes to the unsightly buildup of plaque that eventually turns into tartar if left alone. For proper brushing, use a soft to medium bristled toothbrush and brush gently to prevent bleeding or inflammation.
When brushing, the bristles of your toothbrush should come into contact with both your teeth and gum line in order to get every bit of food particles. Rather than brushing side to side, use an up and down motion or tiny circular motions. Brush the front and backs of your teeth thoroughly, as well as the tops of molars. Brush at least twice a day, once in the morning and when you wake up.
Flossing is just as important as brushing as it removes the food particles and plaque stuck between teeth, where your brush simply can’t reach.
It’s so easy to forget to floss, but it’s important to do it at least once a day. Make sure that when you floss you scrape along the sides of each tooth for maximum efficacy. Go gently, and don’t pull the floss between your teeth sharply, as this can cut your gums or lead to inflammation.
While not strictly necessary, using a mouthwash that contains chlorine dioxide can help kill the harmful bacteria in your mouth, while preserving the useful bacteria. Use mouthwash in addition to brushing and flossing to rinse loose food particles away and contribute to great breath.
Visit the Dentist Regularly
Even if you brush, floss and rinse every day like clockwork, scheduling a dentist’s appointment twice a year is very important. Your dentist can give you a full cleaning that is more effective than what you can do at home, as well as provide necessary checks on your oral and dental health.