Image by Katie Earley via Flickr
As we get older, it’s easy to become complacent about oral hygiene. For some, brushing twice a day turns into once a day, and flossing becomes an afterthought. Others think that because they brush and floss diligently, they’re protecting themselves from plaque, gum diseases, tooth decays, Gingivitis, or Periodontal Disease. But, did you know that even daily brushing and flossing can lead to poor oral hygiene if done incorrectly? Good oral health goes hand-in-hand with living a healthy lifestyle and following a carefully planned routine.
Here are tips for achieving and maintaining healthy teeth and gums.
- Professional Cleaning
The best way to set yourself up for good oral hygiene is by getting regular cleanings. Cleanings are typically recommended every 6 months, and are essential to removing plaque and tartar build-up in between dental trips, so to book yours today, visit website! Your dentist will identify problem areas and provide you with instructions to improve specific issues (such as strengthening gums).
- Brush Regularly, Brush Smart
Teeth should be brushed at least once in the morning and before bed, but ideally they should also be brushed after meals. It’s also important to brush your teeth the right way. Ineffective brushing may lull you into thinking you have good oral hygiene, but you may be missing plaque by using the wrong toothbrush or having poor technique. Your dentist can recommend the right tools, and also demonstrate proper brushing technique for your teeth. Also, remember to change your toothbrush regularly (every 3-4 months).
- Floss, Rinse, Repeat
Flossing at least once a day will remove food debris that has been lodged in the nooks and crannies of your teeth. Many view flossing as a tedious task, but it needn’t be! Flavoured flosses make the experience more fun, and there are also various types of flossing apparatuses available – from string to needles to picks. After flossing, rinse with mouthwash, which helps to kill germs and bacteria and can also prevent tooth decay. Rinsing should be done at least once a day, but you can easily carry a travel bottle in your purse or car to use after meals on the go.
- Quit smoking
Smoking has many harmful side effects that relate to oral health. Beyond the cosmetic damage of staining teeth and adding to plaque build-up, smoking also erodes the gum line, contributes to gum disease and premature tooth decay, and can even lead to tooth loss and Periodontal disease.
- Consider your Diet
Foods that are rich in sugar release acids that break down tooth enamel, which can lead to tooth decay and cavities. Foods that are starchy or sticky leave behind residue that turns into bacteria, which can lead to gum disease. A sugary treat is fine once in a while, but make sure to brush and floss afterwards to remove the remnants of your meal. You can also load up on foods rich in Omega 3 (fish, nuts, flax) and Calcium (dairy, leafy greens), which naturally strengthen your gums and reduce the risk of gum disease.
- Develop Your Routine
What worked for you 10 years ago may not agree with your schedule or your dental needs now. To stick with a routine, you must ensure that it becomes a long-term habit. Consult with a Brisbane dentist to create a dental health plan that addresses your specific needs and fits into your current lifestyle.
The good news is that all it takes to get on the road to pearly white teeth and healthy gums is a small adjustment here and there. A few minutes of effort each day will set you up for a lifetime of good dental health.