Key parts of your oral hygiene routine are brushing and flossing your teeth, but there are other components you need to include as well. Today, our Stayner dentists share some key steps you should follow in your oral hygiene routine to help your gums and teeth stay healthy.
Brushing Your Teeth
Brushing your teeth is probably the most important thing you can do every day to maintain your oral health. Brush your teeth two or three times a day, for two minutes at a time.
For ideal results, brush each “quadrant” of your teeth (upper right, upper left, lower right, lower left) for 30 seconds. Carefully brush all the exposed surfaces of your teeth, including the fronts, backs, and biting surfaces, of each tooth.
Tip: Brush With an Electric Toothbrush
An electric toothbrush makes it easier to clean your teeth. They require less effort than manual brushes since they perform the correct brushing movement for you. Choose an electric toothbrush with a round, rotating head, as this makes the ideal circular brushing motion.
In addition, because the head is quite small, it’s easier to clean those awkward, hard-to-reach spots, like your back molars, and the backs of your front teeth.
Flossing Your Teeth
Ideally, you should floss your teeth every night before bed. Flossing dislodges food debris and build-up from between your teeth, in the places your toothbrush can’t reach.
Insert the floss between two teeth and run it up and down the side of each tooth, pulling it into a “c” shape in both directions. Proceed slowly and thoroughly, and be sure to floss between every two teeth.
Cleanings & Check-ups With Your Dentist
A key part of maintaining oral health is visiting your dentist every six months for a dental cleaning and check-up.
Your dentist has the expertise and tools required to remove plaque and tartar build-up that you can't remove yourself with brushing and flossing.
Your dentist will also be able to identify dental problems in the beginning stages if they see you often enough, and treat them before they get worse. Oral health problems like cavities, gum disease, and even tumours, cysts, and other abnormalities are often not noticeable to the untrained eye in their early stages, so it's important to get your mouth evaluated regularly by a dental professional.
Have a Healthy Diet
Eating a healthy diet that’s rich in calcium helps keep your teeth healthy from the inside out. Restrict consumption of sugars and starches, because oral bacteria thrive on these.
A simple way to help prevent cavities is to stay hydrated. Drinking plenty of water will help you maintain a sufficient flow of saliva that will help wash away the food particles that collect on your teeth and let bacteria multiply.
Supplementary Hygiene Aids
Oral hygiene aids are additions to your brushing and flossing routine. Examples of supplementary hygiene aids are tongue cleaners, mouthwash, interdental cleaners, and oral irrigators.
These aids can help your breath stay fresh, and prevent plaque buildup between flossing and brushing sessions. While they are not sufficient replacements for a thorough brushing and flossing routine, they can definitely help improve it.