Keeping your teeth healthy takes a lifetime of work. But if you follow these simple tips, you can have strong, healthy teeth and prevent many painful dental issues.
1. Use Proper Brushing Technique
It is important to brush at least twice a day to remove bacteria and food particles after eating. However, brushing incorrectly can be both ineffective and can potentially damage your teeth.
Aggressive brushing with a hard or medium bristled brush can wear down your tooth enamel contributing to tooth decay and irritate your gums causing them to recede or become inflamed.
The right way to brush is with a soft bristled toothbrush in small circular motions with the brush head angled away from the gum line at a 45-degree angle. Many dentists recommend using an electric toothbrush with a small, circular oscillating head to more effectively remove built-up plaque and access hard to brush places. You should brush for at least two minutes morning and night.
2. Don’t Go to Bed without Brushing Your Teeth
Brushing before bed is an important part of keeping your teeth and gums healthy. During the night, your mouth produces less saliva, which is necessary for protecting teeth from bacteria and remineralising enamel. This allows bacteria to feed off the sugars from the food you eat more easily and multiply faster producing larger amounts of enamel-eroding acid waste products.
Make brushing before bed part of your nightly routine to get into the habit of cleaning your teeth regularly.
3. Tongue Brushing
The cracks and crevices of your tongue are the ideal places for bacteria to hide which can reintroduce bacteria to your teeth even after you have brushed them.
Tongue brushing is an often-overlooked part of a good oral hygiene routine. Many toothbrushes are equipped with tongue scrapers or tongue scrubbing tools on the back of the brush head. However, you can just as effectively remove bacteria and debris from your tongue with your regular toothbrush.
After brushing your teeth, stick your tongue out as far as it will go and gently brush your tongue from the back to the front, spitting out saliva as you go. Rinse the brush under warm water and rinse your mouth. You can clean your tongue as often as you clean your teeth.
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4. Use Fluoride
Eating and drinking food and beverages high is sugar to acid can remineralise the protective outer enamel layer of your teeth leading to tooth decay. So, it is essential to help remineralise your teeth by using fluoride toothpaste as part of your oral hygiene routine.
Most areas have fluoride in the water to help protect your teeth, but you should also use dental products containing fluoride for added protection.
5. Invest in Quality Dental Hygiene Products
To keep your teeth healthy and clean, you need to have the right tools for the job. A soft bristled toothbrush, either manual or electric is the most critical dental product to have. You should also invest in quality floss that will not fray or break during use, and mouthwash to use once per day to eliminate bacteria.
6. Don’t let Flossing Difficulties Stop You
Flossing is a vital part of your oral health routine, but it can be challenging to do well without hurting your gums. If regular floss is problematic, try pre-strung flossers, interdental brushes or a Waterpik to access those hard to reach areas. You can also talk to a dentist at your local dental clinic in East Grinstead, for tips on how to floss correctly.
7. Drink More Water
Water is not only essential to keep your body hydrated; it is also an important part of maintaining good oral health. Drinking water during and after your meals can help to reduce some of the harmful effects of sugary and acidic food on your teeth as well as washing away food particles and boosting saliva production.
8. Eat Fruits and Vegetables
Your diet can have a significant impact on the overall health of your teeth and gums, so you need to make sure that you consume plenty of fruits and vegetables each day.
Leafy green vegetables such as kale, spinach, and broccoli help to neutralise acid in your mouth and create protective biofilms over your teeth to reduce acid wear. Other vegetables are high in essential minerals such as calcium and phosphorus to help remineralise enamel.
Crunchy fruits and vegetables are also good for your oral health as they are high in fibre which acts as a mild astringent for your gums to stimulate blood flow and require plenty of chewing to stimulate saliva production.
Citrus fruits, though high is acid, are also high in vitamin C, a vitamin essential for gum health and cell renewal.
9. Avoid Sugary Foods
Sugary foods are one of the leading causes of tooth decay as they provide nutrients for harmful bacteria in your mouth. Many sugary foods and drinks are also sticky which keep the sugars in contact with your teeth for longer periods compounding the problem.
To keep your teeth free from erosion and decay, avoid sugary food as much as possible. If you do eat sugary food, rinse your mouth with water after eating and wait at least 30 minutes before brushing your teeth to allow enamel time to repair.
10. Schedule Regular Dental Appointments
Whether you suffer from tooth decay or not, you should schedule regular dental visits twice per year to so your dentist can monitor your teeth and catch small dental issues before they become big problems.
Your hygienist can also give your teeth a deep clean to remove tartar build-up that cannot be removed by brushing alone.