Dentist Recommended: Oral Hygiene Routines

Oral Hygiene Routines

We all know that good oral hygiene is vital if you want to keep your gums and teeth healthy. Good oral hygiene habits involve brushing twice per day and visiting your Red Deer dentist for regular dental cleanings and checkups.

It is important to note, however, that optimal oral health is about more than just preventing cavities and gum disease. In fact, studies have proven that there is a strong link between oral health and overall health. Without the right treatment, tooth decay and gum disease can lead to pain, issues with self-confidence, and tooth loss. These issues can also lead to more serious problems, such as malnutrition, challenges speaking and eating, and overall discomfort.

This article discusses the most effective dental hygiene practices to implement to prevent serious oral health problems.

1. Brush Every Day But Be Gentle

Most of us know that brushing our teeth when we wake up and before going to bed is one of the most effective ways to remove plaque and harmful bacteria and maintain a clean, healthy mouth. However, not a lot of us know what the best brushing technique is.

Our dentist near you suggests that you move your brush in circular motions, ensuring that you brush the top, back, and front of every tooth. The entire process should take between 2-3 minutes, and you should avoid brushing your teeth using back and forth motions.

Ensure that you are gentle when brushing your teeth. Brushing too aggressively can damage your tooth enamel and irritate your gums, leading to permanent tooth damage and sensitivity. Try to use a soft-bristled toothbrush and change it out every three months or when it begins to look frayed.

2. Floss Every Day

Flossing regularly is probably the most overlooked part of oral hygiene routines, but it is essential if you want to maintain optimal oral health. Flossing removes deposits of tartar and plaque from between the teeth, where the toothbrush cannot reach.

Dental health professionals recommend that you push the floss all the way down to your gum line before wrapping it around the side of the tooth and moving it up and down to dislodge any food debris and plaque.

3. Opt for Water Over Sugary Drinks

The number one source of added sugars in a typical diet is sugary beverages such as juices and sodas. Drinking too many of these drinks can lead to a higher risk of tooth decay and cavities. Dental professionals recommend that you only drink water throughout the day and limit your intake of sugary drinks to mealtimes in small amounts.

4. Use Fluoride

Dental experts believe that fluoride helps prevent cavities, and it is a common ingredient for mouthwash and toothpaste. However, some individuals mistakenly believe that fluoride is bad for them and avoid it altogether. Avoiding fluoride can lead to tooth decay, even if that person works hard to look after their teeth otherwise.

Ensure that you check your toothpaste for fluoride as an active ingredient so that your oral hygiene routine effectively protects your teeth.

5. Visit a Dentist on a Regular Basis

It is important to visit a dentist at least once every six months for a comprehensive dental cleaning and checkup. During this visit, a dental hygienist will clean your teeth and remove any lingering bacteria and plaque. Your dentist will then check for visual signs of gum disease, oral cancer, and cavities. They may also use imaging technology such as x-rays to help them identify any areas of concern in your mouth.

The recommendation for most adults and children is to see a dentist once every six months; however, if you have very healthy teeth and no pre-existing conditions, you may only need to visit a dentist once a year. Alternatively, if you have a history of poor oral health, you may need to visit your dentist every 3-4 months instead of every six months. Your dentist will make a recommendation for how often you should see them at your initial appointment.

6. Quit Smoking

It is common knowledge that smoking is harmful to the body. Smoking weakens the body’s immune system, making it a lot more challenging for the body to heal its tissues, including the tissues in the mouth. Smoking is a big cause of gum disease, and even more worryingly, oral cancer. Additionally, those who smoke tend to heal slower after undergoing a dental procedure.

If you want a bright, white smile, smoking is not the way to go. Smoking leads to a yellow tongue and yellow teeth, and it can contribute to bad-smelling breath.

The Bottom Line

Practicing excellent oral hygiene from infancy to adulthood will ensure that your gums and teeth stay healthy for your entire life. Brushing and flossing daily, sticking to a rich and healthy diet, and visiting your dentist for regular dental checkups and cleanings will help you avoid gum disease, tooth decay, and other dental problems, as well as benefit your overall oral health. 

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