In order to maintain a healthy mouth and a sparkling smile, you must build lasting oral hygiene habits — most of which start at home. These 10 simple tips can help you keep your teeth and gums healthy for many years to come.
- 1. Brush teeth twice a day.
No matter how busy life gets, make sure you prioritize tooth brushing. Brush your teeth with fluoride toothpaste at least twice a day to prevent decay and gum disease. Diligent brushing will also help keep your breath fresh and your teeth stain-free.
- 2. Don’t forget to floss daily.
Like brushing, flossing is very important to oral health as it cleans problem areas where your toothbrush can’t reach. At a minimum, floss once a day to remove food particles and plaque buildup that collect between teeth and along the gum line.
- 3. Focus on proper brushing techniques.
Effective tooth brushing requires a full two minutes each time. Holding your brush at a 45-degree angle, use a gentle back and forth motion to clean the tooth. Repeat for each tooth until you have cleaned all surfaces of your teeth.
- 4. Quit using tobacco as soon as possible.
Smoking and other tobacco products aren’t just bad for your general health, they can also wreak havoc on your mouth. Stop using tobacco products now to prevent many serious health problems including oral cancer and gum disease.
- 5. Remember to replace your toothbrush.
Toothbrush bristles wear over time, so make sure you replace your brush at least every three months. You should also toss your brush and purchase a new one following an illness to prevent recontamination.
- 6. Eat a balanced diet.
The foods you consume on a daily basis impact more than your body — they impact your mouth as well. Green leafy vegetables, lean proteins, whole grains, and raw fruits and vegetables contain essential vitamins and minerals to keep your mouth healthy and free from disease.
- 7. Say no to sugary treats.
You should make an effort to reduce how much sugar you eat. Sugar-filled foods and drinks play a significant role in the development of tooth decay. Eliminating them from your diet is a great way to avoid cavities and other dental problems.
- 8. Use the right toothbrush.
As a general rule, the best toothbrush is one that fits comfortably in your mouth and easily reaches all of your teeth. Most professionals recommend a soft-bristled brush with a small head for effective brushing. Electric toothbrushes are also excellent alternatives to manual brushes, especially for a person with limited dexterity.
- 9. Rinse your mouth.
Used in conjunction with brushing and flossing, mouthwash can be an effective way to help strengthen enamel, prevent the development of plaque, and fight gum disease. If you can’t get to your mouthwash, swishing with water after eating can also help dislodge food particles until you can brush.
- 10. Visit your dentist regularly.
Last but certainly not least, visit your dentist for twice-yearly cleanings and exams to help detect and prevent future problems. Always report dental problems to your dentist as soon as possible to avoid more serious issues and treatments.
Allow us to help you take the next step toward better oral hygiene. For professional cleanings, exams and tips on keeping your mouth healthy, visit us at our Chesterton or Schereville office. Call (219) 929-9289 or (219) 322-3232 today!