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So much of our health depends on developing good daily habits. To preserve your oral health, it’s important to establish strict routines that keep your teeth and gums healthy and clean. Here is a complete step-by-step routine to help keep your smile healthy and white.
- Brush your teeth twice a day for two full minutes, according to the guidelines from the American Dental Association.
- Hold your toothbrush at a 45-degree angle and brush every surface of your teeth, including the sides and chewing surfaces on top.
- Remove food particles and plaque from between your teeth by flossing at least once a day, according to the guidelines from the ADA.
- Don’t just floss between your front teeth; be sure to floss between the teeth in the back of your mouth too.
- Use approximately 18 inches of floss, so you can easily manipulate it around and between teeth.
- Gently lower the floss between teeth and follow the curve of each tooth to keep from injuring your gums.
- After brushing and flossing, thoroughly rinse your mouth with mouthwash.
- Sip a small amount and swish it in your mouth for about 30 to 40 seconds.
- Spit the mouthwash out into your sink, being careful not to swallow any.
- If you are using a toothbrush only, apply a small portion of toothpaste to the bristles and gently scrub your tongue in a circular motion.
- Try to go as far back as possible without triggering your gag reflex and then rinse your mouth.
- If you are using floss, wrap each end around opposite index fingers and gently scrape the top of your tongue.
- You can also use a tongue scraper to loosen bacteria and food particles from the surface of your tongue.
- Maintain regular dental checkups with your dentist to look for any abnormalities.
- Schedule professional cleanings to eliminate plaque and tartar buildup.
- See your dentist any time you show troublesome symptoms, including dental pain, bleeding gums, foul-smelling breath or strange lesions or growths.
In addition to these steps, it’s important to eat a well-balanced diet to ensure that you are getting the proper vitamins, minerals and micronutrients to keep your teeth and underlying bones healthy and strong. This includes plenty of leafy green vegetables, colorful fruits and foods rich in calcium. Since vitamin D plays such a key role in dental health, it’s also important to make sure you are getting your minimum daily requirement either by consuming fortified foods, getting exposure to sunlight or taking a daily supplement.