Oral Hygiene Basics

Practicing good oral hygiene techniques ensures not only a healthy body, but a healthy mind too! Your mouth is the start of your digestive system and has an impact on many other parts of your overall health. Once you get into a routine for effective care, it becomes mindless and easy. People spend long times shaving, doing their hair or makeup and working out, but often it’s the oral hygiene that goes by the wayside. Making the effort will minimize your chances for developing tooth decay, gum disease, bad breath as well as keeping your teeth strong for many years to come.

Oral Hygiene Tips

teeth cleaning

Brush Your Teeth: When in a hurry, tooth brushing often is an expedited process where only the surfaces of your teeth end up clean. Doing only that leaves debris in the crevices of your teeth that can feed the bacteria that causes tooth decay. That’s why it is important to thoroughly brush, at least twice per day, but especially after meals and before bed.

The best practice for brushing along the gumline is to brush at approximately a 45 degree angle. Make sure you brush the surface of each tooth with short strokes. Some people work one tooth at a time, starting at one side and ending at the other, while others divide their mouth into quadrants and work each section thoroughly. Figure out what works best for you and keep it up!

Brush your Tongue: Often forgotten, brushing the tongue helps to eliminate bacteria while keeping your breath fresh.

Floss Your Teeth: It only takes about 18 inches of floss to provide your mouth with all over cleanliness. Wrap it around your fingers, and move gently between each tooth, following along the line of your teeth and under your gums. It’s important to be gentle. If you don’t regularly floss, a little bleeding the first couple times is normal, and should heal after you do it regularly. If it keeps up, it can be a sign of infection and at that point it is important to see a dentist.

Schedule Regular In-Office Cleanings: Although you may clean thoroughly, there are areas that will be out of your reach even with normal care, where plaque and tartar can build up. Depending on your mouth, your regular cleaning should happen every 4 to 6 months, although most insurance companies only cover twice annually.

Fluoride Your Teeth: Using products such as toothpaste and mouthwash that contain fluoride can help strengthen teeth and prevent decay and cavities.

Eat Healthy : A balanced diet with proper nutrients can help keep your mouth healthy. High sugar food and beverages, as well as sticky, starchy foods, can speed up the decay process.

Remember to Replace your Toothbrush: Toothbrushes see a lot and it’s important to replace them every three to four months. Set up a reminder in your calendar or phone to replace it so all your work brushing is the most effective it can be. Over time, the bristles break down and don’t clean your teeth as well as they do when they are new.