Maintaining oral hygiene not only protects you from bad breath, tooth decay, and gum diseases, but it also prevents several health issues. Thus, cleaning and taking proper care of your teeth, mouth, and gum should be a priority.
Brushing your teeth frequently does not guarantee dental hygiene. There are various points to remember, including brushing technique, brushing duration, and others. You need to make it a point to practice oral hygiene from an early age to keep your teeth strong and mouth healthy.
After thorough research, we have listed and explained a few tips to help you maintain oral hygiene. So, without wasting any more time, let us dive straight into the article.
Ways to Maintain Oral Hygiene
Brushing Duration and Frequency
Dentists recommend brushing your teeth twice a day, once in the morning and then at night. However, we often tend to neglect to brush at night since lethargy takes over. Make it a habit to brush your teeth before hitting the bed. This removes the germs and plaque accumulated throughout the day.
Many individuals develop the routine of brushing twice a day, but they don’t brush for an adequate duration. The American Dental Association (ADA) recommends brushing your teeth for at least two minutes to keep them clean. You can set a timer or watch a two-minute video to ensure brushing for the stipulated duration.
Brushing twice a day for the required time duration is not enough. You need to follow the ideal brushing technique to remove food particles stuck in between your teeth. Take time to brush your teeth in gentle and circular motions to remove plaque and tartar as it may cause gingivitis and calculus build-up.
Follow the steps to achieve polished teeth and a healthy mouth:
- Use short back and forth strokes to brush the sides and top of your teeth.
- Ensure cleaning the inner surfaces of the front teeth (where plaque builds up) by brushing vertically using shorter strokes.
Choose the Right Brush
Use a soft-bristled brush, which is small enough to fit your mouth. Most adults require a small or medium-sized brush to reach the crevices of the molars. It also offers you the flexibility of removing food debris stuck in between your teeth after eating.
Maintaining Your Toothbrush
Replace your toothbrush every three or four months. Never use a frayed or worn-out toothbrush as it loses its cleaning potential.
Also, cleaning your toothbrush is essential as it breeds bacteria and germs. These contaminants are introduced into your mouth when you brush your teeth. You are advised to rinse your brush after every use and allow it to air dry before you cover it.
Avoid sharing a toothbrush with your spouse or even your kids since it is highly unhygienic.
Use Fluoride Toothpaste
There are various types of toothpaste available in the market. The toothpaste offers whitening capabilities and a wide range of flavors to choose from. However, no matter what brand and type of toothpaste you choose to use, ensure it contains fluoride.
This essential element serves as a leading defense against tooth decay. It fights germs and provides a protective barrier for your teeth and gums. Also, the toothpaste should contain the right dosage of fluoride suitable for adults and children.
Drinking fluoridated water also helps in strengthening teeth and preventing decay. You can check if the water provided in your area contains fluoride. RO water purifiers remove fluoride from the water, so you would need to avoid that. Also, if you consume bottled water, then check the level of fluoride as many bottled water does not contain fluoride.
You should keep your fluoride water consumption in check. Too much fluoride consumption could lead to health hazards.
Flossing is Important
Flossing is equally essential as it allows you to achieve thorough cleaning of your teeth.
When done correctly, it can remove food debris and germs by reaching the tough spots between teeth. While flossing ensures the dental floss rubs against your teeth in motion, creating a backward and forward “C” shape.
You need to use a piece of floss with a length of up to 18 inches. This enables you to use a fresh area of floss, preventing you from reinserting bacteria or germs you removed.
However, flossing may be complicated for young children or older individuals with arthritis. Ready-to-use flosses are also convenient options in such cases.
Mouthwash is Helpful
Let us take a look at the three primary ways mouthwashes help us:
- It removes plaque, food debris, and germs from the hard-to-reach areas to ensure thorough cleaning.
- Mouthwash re-mineralizes teeth.
- It de-acidifies your mouth.
If you have sensitive teeth, then consult your dentist for recommendations. Prescribed mouthwashes are also available for children and adults. Avoid skipping the use of mouthwash as they are very effective in preventing gum irritation and diseases like gingivitis.
Drink Plenty of Water
Water is a life-saver! Drinking sufficient water throughout the day helps in maintaining overall health, including oral health. Water also prevents your mouth from drying, especially for those with dry mouth caused due to medications.
You are advised to drink water after every meal. This helps in washing off the effects of acidic and sticky food and beverages in between brushes. It also flushes out the remaining food debris to give your mouth a quick rinse.
Clean Tongue Regularly
Never compromise on your tongue while cleaning your mouth and brushing teeth. Plaque can build up on your tongue, leading to bad breath and other oral health issues. Hence, use a toothbrush that comes with a tongue scraper on the back.
Gently brush or scrape your tongue after brushing your teeth as part of the routine. Cleaning your tongue will remove bacteria and plaque. It also enhances the freshness of your mouth.
Maintain a Balanced Diet
Have a well-balanced diet, comprising of fruits, vegetables, protein, and fiber. Foods rich in nutrients help in overall nourishment. Eat fresh and fiber-enriched food to strengthen your teeth. Avoid eating junk food as they are harmful to your teeth and gums.
Limit the intake of sugar and acidic food items. Sugar converts into acid, which may corrode the enamel of your teeth. This also leads to cavities and tooth decay.
Moreover, tea, coffee, and acidic fruits can lead to the deterioration of tooth enamel. Hence, be cautious of what you eat to enhance oral health and hygiene. Avoid having sugar and acidic beverages, including soda, juice, cold drinks, and others, as they lead to cavities.
You can opt for water or unsweetened tea throughout the day. Drink sweetened drinks only at times and in small volumes.
Avoid Snacking in Between Meals
Try to avoid snacking before going to bed, especially if you have already brushed your teeth. Brushing teeth at night remove the germs and bacteria collected during the entire day.
So, having a snack will put all your efforts to waste. It leaves food particles and sugar lodged between your teeth, leading to the growth of bacteria.
Hence, you would have to brush your teeth again before going to bed. Have a well-balanced meal before brushing so that you don’t get hungry again at midnight.
Restrict Alcohol and Tobacco Consumption
Alcohol and tobacco lead to tooth decay and other oral health problems. If you want your teeth to remain strong with healthy gums, then limit alcohol consumption.
Also, if you are a smoker, then quit. It makes your mouth dry and blackens your teeth over time, making them weak. The toxins released due to smoking can lead to heavy and aggressive tartar build-up, destroying tooth tissue quicker compared to non-smokers. This can cause various gum diseases, which you would want to avoid.
Visit the Dentist Twice a Year
You have to practice proper oral health routines to maintain oral hygiene at all times. An individual may have perfect teeth, but he or she needs to visit the dentist at least twice a year for checkups and cleaning.
A dentist will be able to identify cavities, gum disease, signs of mouth cancer, and potential issues and offer treatment solutions. Moreover, only a dentist will be able to remove calculus and tartar build-up efficiently.
If you are someone with frequent dental issues like gingivitis and cavities, then your visits to the dentists should be frequent. Many dental care facilities offer insurance, covering your frequent dental health check-ups.
Utilize the time of your dental visits by talking to your dentist regarding effective and suitable dental products for you. Oral hygienic products should meet the safety criteria.
Keep Blood Sugar Level in Check
Those with diabetes should keep their blood sugar level in check. Higher blood sugar levels may lead to risks and complications related to gum diseases. Also, treating gum diseases will help in decreasing your blood sugar level.
Oral hygiene should be considered as a critical part of your overall health.
You can keep your teeth strong and gums healthy even in your old age, provided you take your oral health care routine to the next level.
Following these tips related to oral health and hygiene will help you improve your technique. They also ensure that you are practicing oral hygiene correctly. You will know the suitable products to choose that will enhance your oral health.
With this note, we now come to the end of our comprehensive and informative guide to the best ways of maintaining oral hygiene. The article intends to help you gain knowledge about general oral health and its importance.
We hope this article helps!
Abdul Ansari is a freelance blogger who has written multiple articles for fitness and sports websites. He reviews outdoor and home products at Reviews . in On weekends you will find him playing volleyball.