We all do our best to stay healthy and feel good, but sometimes bad habits die hard. We may have formed an oral health routine years ago, but sometimes we fall out of habit or start to forget the importance of these tasks. Today, we’re looking into the bare basics of tooth care in case you need a refresher on the best ways to keep your mouth and teeth happy and healthy!
1. Always Brush Before Bed
This tip is right up there with flossing: everyone knows they should be doing it, but it’s often easily skipped. Brushing before bed is absolutely crucial to a healthy mouth because it clears away bacteria and food particles that would otherwise be breeding in your mouth overnight, leading to plaque and eventual tooth decay.
2. Floss, Floss, Floss
Flossing and brushing go hand in hand when it comes to importance. This practice not only helps remove food and plaque stuck between teeth that brushing alone may miss, it helps to stimulate your gums and keep them healthy. Flossing once a day is generally enough to keep things up to par, though flossing after every meal is ideal.
3. Fluoride is Your Friend
Using a toothpaste with fluoride is an integral step in helping keep your teeth strong, sturdy, and cavity-free. Other aspects of toothpaste—such as whitening benefits or flavor—aren’t as important as whether or not the paste contains fluoride. This natural chemical helps strengthen tooth enamel as well as fight bacteria.
4. Brush With the Right Technique
Brushing poorly or neglectfully is almost as bad as not bothering to brush at all. Remember to spend at least 2 minutes moving your brush over your teeth in gentle, circular motions. This helps to remove all excess food and plaque and help prevent buildup. Improper brushing can lead to the buildup of tartar and gingivitis.
5. Don’t Neglect Your Tongue
Maybe the expression “brushing your teeth” should be traded in for “cleaning your mouth” as there are many important areas to be cleansed apart from your teeth themselves! The tongue is a hotbed for bacteria and needs to be brushed or scraped daily to remove buildup that can lead to plaque and bad breath.
6. Mouthwash Has a Role
The medical necessity of mouthwash has been loosely debated, and many people often feel they can skip this element of a healthcare regimen. Recent studies, however, have shown that mouthwash not only helps to freshen breath, it helps fight against bacteria and can give an added jolt of fluoride protection to teeth.
7. Sugar Isn’t Your Friend
We’ve heard it all our lives, but it still remains true: sugar is terrible for teeth. Avoid sugary drinks, candies, and other high-sugar food, as sugar causes the bacteria in your mouth to release acids and eventually leads to tooth decay and cavities.
8. Pay Us a Visit
According to the American Dental Association, visiting the dentist every six months is key to improving your oral health. We’ll help you to prevent stubborn oral health issues—like cavities, gum disease, and oral cancer—and give your teeth a thorough cleaning to remove pesky plaque and tartar.
Sometimes a gentle reminder of the habits we ought to be practicing is the push we need to get back to a healthier lifestyle!
If you have questions about your oral health regimen, or to book an appointment for a checkup with your dentist, give us a call at Dental Roots in Naperville today!