Good oral hygiene is essential to keep your teeth and gums healthy and prevent cavities, tooth decay, and periodontal diseases. Also, it benefits your overall health by reducing the risk of developing diabetes, heart problems, Alzheimer’s, stroke, and premature labor. Therefore, taking care of your teeth is crucial to maintaining your dental and overall health at an optimum level.
Here are eight simple oral hygiene tips, as shared by our lead dentist, Dr. Beth Vander Schaaf, that can help you achieve excellent oral health:
Poor brushing is almost equivalent to not brushing at all. Therefore, take your time (about 2 minutes) and brush properly by moving your toothbrush in tiny circular directions across each tooth. This will help remove bacteria and plaque, which reduces your risk of developing gingivitis (early gum disease). Always brush gently, as it can damage tooth enamel and the gums, resulting in sensitivity and gum erosion. Our patients hear Dr. Beth say, “It is not 1910; get an Oral B electric toothbrush!” No one can manually brush as effectively as a mechanical device.
Eating crispy and crunchy fruits and vegetables (cucumber, apple, pear, carrot, celery, and lettuce) will help keep your teeth clean by removing plaque and bacteria, stimulating saliva production, which in turn neutralizes acids that can cause teeth erosion.
A study reveals that brushing and flossing alone won’t prevent cavities. Make sure to use a toothpaste containing fluoride, as it helps combats germs, reduces your risk of getting cavities, and serves as a protective barrier for your teeth.
While removing bad breath, water can help keep your teeth healthy by washing away the sticky and acidic foods and beverages that cause enamel to wear down. Drink water regularly, especially after every meal.
Our tongue is the entry point to bacteria. If not cleaned properly, these bacteria can breed and multiply, causing oral problems, such as bad odor, gum disease, etc. So, clean your tongue every time you brush.
Pro Tip: Reach your toothbrush to the back of your tongue and bring it forward to the front of your mouth so as not to gag yourself! Both a manual, “regular” toothbrush or a specialized tongue scraper work great. Try both to find what works the best for you.
Limiting sugary food intake is essential, as bacteria in your mouth feed on the leftover sugar from the food, producing acids that can erode your teeth’s enamel, causing cavities. Also, avoid consuming acidic beverages and fruits, as they can also cause enamel erosion.
Like brushing, flossing is also crucial, but more people neglect it. Flossing helps remove plaque, bacteria, and food stuck between the teeth, so make sure you do it once a day.
Related Artcile: Floss Hater? 5 Reasons Why Flossing is So Important!
You should see your dentist for an exam and cleaning every six months to ensure your mouth and teeth are clean and healthy. Many people actually require additional hygiene visits to get their oral health in optimal shape. During the regular examination, your dental hygienist will clean your teeth to remove plaque and tartar, and the dentist will look and diagnose for signs of gum disease, bruxism, tooth decay, oral cancer, etc. Annually, there is a radiograph or “X-rays” requirement to check for cavities between teeth, evaluate bone, etc.
Take care of yourself and schedule an appointment with an experienced dentist in Scottsdale, Arizona, today! Contact us at Smile Arizona Dentistry. Our lead dentist, Dr. Beth Vander Schaaf, will treat all your dental concerns and put you on the path to a healthier smile. You will be glad you did!
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