For many people, going to the dentist can be a stressful time. It’s common for patients to wonder if they are doing enough at home to protect their dental health, and the last thing a patient wants to hear is that they need additional treatment due to cavities or gum disease.
To help ease any concerns you may have about your own routine, below are 6 simple things you can add to your oral hygiene routine, which will not only reduce the chance of issues like gingivitis and cavities, but also help to prevent long-term health conditions like heart disease and Alzheimer’s.
So, what are some ways that you can improve your oral care routine and overall dental hygiene? Here are 6 enhancements you can make today!
- Try an Electric Toothbrush
It is important that you make the most of brushing your teeth. With an electric toothbrush, you can powerfully remove plaque and bacteria in your mouth more effectively than with a manual toothbrush. All you have to do is glide the device along the surfaces of your teeth and the brush will do the rest of the work. Just make sure that you use gentle pressure to ensure that you’re not damaging your gums and enamel.
- Don’t Forget to Floss
Unfortunately, brushing alone isn’t enough. Food can easily hide in the crevices of your mouth, making your teeth vulnerable to cavities. By flossing consistently, you can reach the tight, hard-to-reach spaces that your brush can’t. If you have braces or are sensitive to traditional flosses, try a water flosser for a safe and effective clean.
- Keep Your Tongue Clean
Think of your tongue like a sponge. Its surface harbors bacteria from the food and beverages that you consume throughout the day. If you don’t clean it properly, it can cause plaque buildup and even bad breath. That’s why we recommend investing in a tongue scraper to gently remove any leftover residue or, at the very least, you should brush your tongue as part of your oral hygiene routine.
- Brush for at Least 2 Minutes, 2X Per Day
You’ve heard it before, but we’re going to repeat it again: make sure that you are brushing your teeth for at least 2 minutes, twice a day. You can break up your mouth into quadrants to ensure that you are giving every tooth the attention it deserves (even those hard-to-reach molars). Tip: Try putting on your favorite song and jam out. Who says brushing your teeth has to be boring?
- Rinse with an Antibacterial Mouthwash
Before you close the bathroom door, rinse your mouth with an antibacterial mouthwash for an extra layer of defense against cavity-causing bacteria and tooth decay. Finishing with this step will help rinse away any remaining debris you loosened while flossing and brushing. Plus, most rinses are made with mint flavor so you can freshen your breath too.
- Watch your Diet
Your mouth is a mirror to your body, health, and disease. Simply put, oral hygiene goes beyond brushing and flossing, it’s important to think “outside the mouth.” Consumption of too many sugary drinks will increase your risk for tooth decay. Eating an inflammatory diet, focusing on fresh fruits and vegetables, can prevent (and sometimes reverse) gum disease, tooth decay and cavities.
Taking care of your mouth at home is in your hands. By implementing these tips, you can better protect your teeth and gums from issues and prevent painful procedures at your next dentist appointment. We are here to help you get the healthiest smile you can. Comment below with any other tips you have!