A bright, healthy smile is a sign of good oral hygiene and overall health. Taking care of your teeth is very important. Poor oral care can lead to a host of dental health issues and other medical conditions such as gum disease, tooth decay, heart disease, bone loss, stroke, and more. Scheduled routine dental health checkups and professional cleanings will maintain your good oral hygiene and can help prevent gum disease and other physical ailments.
Dental Hygiene Tips
But, the first steps in managing your dental health should be taken every day at home. The following is a list of dental hygiene tips that will help you take care of your teeth, improve your dental health, and prevent gum disease.
- Brushing Technique – Position your toothbrush at a 45-degree angle at the gum line. Both the tooth surface and the gumline should be in contact with the brush. Clean tooth surfaces with a back and forth, and up and down gentle motion. Repeat this process on the inside teeth and gum surfaces.
Don’t forget to brush your tongue or use a tongue scraper to remove odor-causing buildup.
Brush your teeth and tongue at least twice a day. If you are not able to do so, rinse your mouth thoroughly with water after you eat to loosen and remove bacteria and food debris.
- Floss Daily – Although many people ignore this step, flossing is just as important as brushing. Flossing between teeth removes particles that your brush can’t reach and that mouthwash and water can’t wash away. Be sure to floss at least once every day.
- Don’t smoke – Tobacco use can lead to bad breath, oral cancer, and periodontal disease. In addition, you may consume more sugary breath mints or other candies than others to try to mask the smell, which can potentially double the damage.
- Limit or Eliminate Sodas, Coffee, and Alcohol – Along with the sugary additives and staining properties, these types of beverages are not good for your teeth; they contain a good amount of phosphorous. This is an essential mineral, necessary for a healthy mouth; but in excess, it can deplete calcium resources, leading to dental health problems such as gum disease and tooth decay.
- Take Calcium and Other Vitamin Supplements – Calcium is an essential nutrient. You need lots of it to maintain healthy teeth and bones. Choose milk, calcium-fortified orange juice, plenty of yogurts, cheese, broccoli and other dairy sources and nutrient-rich foods. In addition, take a daily calcium supplement that includes Vitamin D.
- See Your Dentist Immediately When Problems Arise – If you experience tooth or jaw pain, call your dentist immediately to schedule an appointment. Your dental professional has the expertise to identify and treat the underlying cause.