Having good oral hygiene is necessary to keep your teeth and gums healthy.
Bacteria in the mouth, also known as dental plaque, can cause troubles such as tooth decay, gum disease and bad breath. A lack of dental care can also lead to more than just oral problems, with research demonstrating a connection between a person’s mouth and overall health.
Plaque reforms daily and over 48 hours, will harden into tartar, which is why it is so important to brush and floss our teeth every day!
To maintain good oral health, regular tooth brushing is insufficient. Here are 8 oral hygiene habits to adopt for a healthier smile.
1. Use Fluoride Toothpaste
Fluoride is a natural mineral that can be found in sea salt, water, and many food. It is also naturally retained in our bones and teeth.
Experts believe that fluoride can help to prevent tooth decay by strengthening the teeth to protect it from plaque and bacteria in the mouth. It can also reverse early tooth decay.
Fluoride toothpaste can help rebuild weakened tooth enamel, slow down the loss of mineral in tooth enamel, and prevent the growth of oral bacteria.
2. Use Mouthwash
Mouthwash contains antibacterial ingredients such as thymol that can control gum disease and prevent plaque from building up in the teeth. It can also reach crevices in your mouth that are hard to brush or floss.
Using mouthwash on its own is insufficient to substitute brushing and flossing, but can complement these practices. This is particularly useful for children and older people who need that extra cleanse.
3. Don’t Forget Your Tongue
Brushing your teeth can remove bacteria from the teeth and gums, but it can still remain on your tongue. This can cause bad breath or other oral health problems.
To avoid plaque building up, include brushing your tongue in your daily brushing routine.
4. Floss Daily
Even with regular brushing, food particles may remain between the teeth and gums.
Flossing not only removes food debris trapped between the areas that are hard to reach using a toothbrush, but also the plaque and bacteria in the crevices. This will prevent bad breath and keep gum disease at bay.
We recommend flossing at least once a day, on top of brushing our teeth 2 times a day.
5. Brush Your Teeth the Proper Way
We all know that we need to brush our teeth twice a day to keep them clean however, are you brushing them the right way?
When brushing, use small, Jiggling, circular motions at a 45-degree slanting into the gumline. Followed by vertical sweeps away from the gums. This is known as the Modified Bass Technique. Avoid sawing your brush back-and-forth against your teeth or brush aggressively.
If you are using an electric toothbrush, make sure not to press the toothbrush into the tooth with excessive force as it may abrade away the enamel layer. Instead, lean the toothbrush gently on the tooth and move in slow movements following the contour of your teeth.
Brushing harder will not remove bacteria or plaque faster. In fact, it may cause permanent damage to the tooth’s enamel, causing abrasion cavities, gum recession and make your teeth more sensitive. We recommend spending a longer duration of time to brush gently rather than increasing the force applied.
6. Change Your Toothbrush Regularly
If you use a manual toothbrush, it is recommended that you opt for a soft-bristle toothbrush and have it replaced every 3 months, or when the bristles start to look frayed, whichever comes first.
A worn-out toothbrush will not be as effective in clearing away plaque. The frayed bristles may even damage your gums.
If you use an electric toothbrush, it is recommended that you replace the head more often than a traditional toothbrush. This is because electric brushes often have shorter bristles that wear down quicker.
7. Choose Water over Sugary Drinks
It is no secret that sugary drinks are bad for your teeth.
Sugary drinks, when consumed, are broken down into simple sugars by bacteria in your mouth, producing acids that can cause tooth decay. These acids can also affect a tooth’s dentin or even composite fillings, inviting cavities.
So, whenever you can, opt for plain water instead. In fact, Singapore public water supply contains the mineral fluoride, which can help prevent tooth decay!
8. Go for Regular Dental Check-Ups
Visiting your dentist for a check-up every 6 months can help you maintain good oral health. Professional teeth cleaning will remove stains and clean up plague that are hard-to-reach on your own.
During the check-up, the dentist will also make sure that your teeth are healthy and point out concerns with advice on how to fix them. Dental x-ray may also be used to check for decay before they become a huge cavity!
Do note that dental issues will not correct on their own and if left untreated may snowball into more serious health conditions. Early detection can save you time and money!
Improve Your Oral Hygiene Routine Today
By cultivating good oral hygiene habits, you will not only keep your teeth and gums healthy, but also benefit your overall health.
At T32 Dental, we put our hearts into your smile. Our dentists will evaluate your teeth and recommend ways you can improve your oral health.
Contact us for a dental check-up today.