Brushing, flossing, dental checkups and other preventive hygiene care can help you to maintain your oral health. Here, our Saskatoon dentists share their best oral hygiene tips.
By following these oral health tips, you can maintain healthy teeth and gums for life.
1. Brush twice a day, for at least minutes.
When it comes to good oral hygiene, you will want to brush your teeth at least twice each day, ideally in the morning and before bed for between two and four minutes each time. Begin with your brush at a 45-degree angle and move it in a sweeping motion. Brush your upper teeth by 'sweeping' downward and your lower teeth by doing the same upward away from your gums. You should brush back and forth only on your chewing surfaces.
2. Floss every night.
Flossing your teeth every night before you brush them not only helps remove debris but also minimizes the risk of tooth decay. It helps keep your gums healthy too. Use a piece of floss up to 18 inches long so you can use a fresh area of floss for every few teeth. Keep in mind the floss should rub against the teeth in a motion that creates a forward or backward 'C' shape, wrapping the floss around each tooth.
3. Rinse with mouthwash daily.
Adding mouthwash to your oral hygiene routine ca help to kill bacteria and other germs in your mouth before they have a chance to build up or create plaque. Since mouthwash can go where toothbrushes and even floss can;t, it can help to rid your smile of debris that might irritate your gum line and lead to disease.
4. Brush or scrape your tongue daily.
After brushing your teeth, bacteria can still remain on the tongue. Brushing or scraping your tongue as part of your daily routine can help to get rid of this bacteria, and also helps to freshen your breath. Be sure to use one toothbrush for brushing, and a different toothbrush for scraping your tongue.
5. Visit the dentist regularly.
Visit the dentist, at least twice a year, for a dental examination and cleaning. Dentists and hygienists have tools and techniques to clean your teeth far more thoroughly than you can at home. Regular exams also mean your dentist can find any issues that are developing sooner and offer treatment options to prevent them from getting worse.
6. Don’t delay dental treatments.
Many people have fears that prevent them from getting dental treatments, while others avoid treatments because they think that it will be too costly. The truth is, preventive check-ups and treatments do not cost much compared to extensive care of a dental crown or implant. Avoiding necessary treatments may impact your dental hygiene in a negative way and end up costing you more in the long run.
7. Make healthy food choices and minimize sugar.
The food that you regularly eat has not only an affect on your body, but on your teeth too. So, be sure to eat lots of veggies and fruits and minimize how much sugar your consume, since this can lead to cavities. Vitamin D and Calcium are necessary for maintaining the health of your teeth and gums.
You may take supplements, but it's better to drink and eat things that have those nutrients and vitamins naturally in them. This includes: milk, fortified orange juice, and to eat yogurt, broccoli, cheese, and other dairy products.
8. Limit pop, coffee, and alcohol.
Beverages containing additives such as corn syrup and food dye can make white teeth appear dull and discoloured. It is best to choose beverages such as milk, which helps to strengthen teeth and build stronger enamel, and water which hydrates your body.
9. Wear a mouth guard to protect your teeth.
If you play sports or other contact activities, it is recommended to wear a mouth guard to protect your teeth and gums from impact or injury. Most dental offices offer custom-made mouth guards for patients to comfortably fit their smiles and keep their teeth safe from damage.
10. Avoid habits that are harmful to your teeth.
Steer clear of tobacco and other substances that are harmful to your teeth, and try to break habits such as biting your nails or opening bottle caps with your teeth. If you have the habit of sucking your thumb, lip-biting, tongue-thrusting, or clenching your teeth, consult a dentist for treatment options.