Your oral hygiene is precious. We all rely on good oral hygiene to eat well, keep disease and infection at bay, and prevent wider health problems like heart disease from occurring. We all know it’s important to brush our teeth every day, but practising oral hygiene is much more than that, involving certain day-to-day lifestyle choices that will keep it optimal. Here are 7 tips to improve your oral hygiene routine for a healthier mouth.
As we said in the intro, we all know brushing is vital, but not everyone is aware of how even a few neglected brushing sessions can affect the long term health of their smile. Failing to brush twice a day leaves your smile susceptible to the build up of plaque, which starts to harden in as little as 24 hours. Brushing helps to get rid of bacteria which would otherwise cause plaque to form. Even one missed brushing session can turn your mouth into a bacteria hotbed and cause problems like enamel erosion and decay, especially if you’re someone who often forgets to brush before bedtime after your evening meal. If there’s just one pointer you take away from this list, let it be this one!
Studies have now concluded. Research shows that soft-bristled electric brushes with oscillating heads are much more effective at removing plaque from along the gum line. As well as reducing the possibility of suffering from gum disease, electric brushes are far less abrasive on your teeth than hard-bristled manual brushes. Here at Innovadent, we see many patients who come to us with enamel abrasion as a result of brushing too hard with a manual toothbrush. Once they make the switch to an electric brush, this progression comes to a halt, making their teeth better protected against decay and sensitivity. Just remember to make sure you’re holding your electric toothbrush down gently on each tooth at a 45-degree angle, and use short brush strokes to move it back and forth across each individual tooth. These short brush strokes will make sure you’re giving your tooth enamel a thorough clean.
Failing to floss twice daily means you’re leaving a significant amount of tooth surface area untouched. The space between your teeth is the perfect place for food particles to settle, and cause discolouration and decay. If left for even just a few hours, these can also cause bad breath too. But how do you know which flossing aid to go for? This super helpful article from Oral-B has all the information you need to help you choose which flossing method suits your dental health needs. For example, if you’re someone who has a bridge or implants, you may wish to opt for a type of floss with varying widths for cleaning around these. Meanwhile, someone with very tight gaps between their teeth may wish to try a waxed floss that can slide easily between those narrow spaces.
Speaking of narrow spaces in-between your teeth, orthodontic treatment is something that can address this issue, creating natural-sized gaps between your teeth. Correctly aligned teeth aren’t just beautiful to look at, they’re much healthier. With gaps between your teeth that are no longer a hotbed for food particles and bacteria, your oral health with benefit in the long term.
The type of toothpaste you use can play a big part in the condition of your oral health. Opting for a fluoride toothpaste slows down the rate at which your enamel breaks down, and aids in the remineralisation of your teeth. Using fluoride toothpaste regularly will also help create stronger and more resistant enamel crystals, which are more capable of withstanding acid attacks.
There are still a great many people who rinse after brushing, having been taught to do so from a young age. However, this isn’t actually a best brushing practice, as you’re washing the active ingredient (fluoride) from your mouth, preventing it from doing its job of remineralising your teeth (remember point number 5 above?)! By making sure you leave residual fluoride toothpaste in your mouth, the risk of decay is reduced.
Hygienist visits hold just the same amount of importance as dentist visits. If you’re still a hygienist virgin, we can’t stress how beneficial these visits can be for your oral health, as well as the appearance of your teeth. During hygienist appointments, your teeth undergo a professional clean, using special instruments which carefully remove the plaque and tartar along the gum line. When left to linger, these substances cause unpleasant symptoms that indicate the progression of gum disease, like bleeding and sore gums, receding gums, loose teeth, and eventual tooth loss. Your hygienist can also guide you on how to brush more efficiently, and teach you how to maximize the use of dental floss.
Here at Innovadent, we can offer patients a premium professional clean, using our Airflow technology. This gentle apparatus is a supplementary clean that dislodges plaque and tartar in hard-to-reach areas of the mouth. We particularly recommend this to patients who haven’t seen the hygienist for a little while, or who are smokers. Not only will your mouth be healthier after Airflow, but your teeth will also look more natural and feel polished.
If you’re yet to book yourself in for a New Year check-up, please get in touch with us and start your new year with healthy teeth and a beautiful smile. Make 2023 the year you visit the dentist regularly, and keep oral health problems at bay.Back to Blog
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