There is so much more to good oral hygiene than just regular brushing twice a day.
If you practice good oral and dental hygiene it can help prevent bad breath, tooth decay and gum disease—and very importantly, it helps to keep your teeth in good shape as you get older.
Your mouth is actually a window to what is happening elsewhere in your body. Researchers, for example, have found links between gum disease and diabetes, and oral inflammation and cardiovascular disease. Your mouth can actually help detect the early signs and symptoms of some chronic diseases.
OK, we’ve all woken up with that gross feeling when we’ve slept all night with our mouths open. Yuk. But not withstanding the occasional morning breath, your breath should be fresh, your gums should be pink and not bleed or hurt when you brush, and teeth should be clean and free of debris and plaque build-up.
Good oral hygiene results in a mouth that looks and smells healthy. So, how do we achieve it?
☑️The right equipment
This is important. Change your toothbrush every 3-4 months or when the brush starts to fray, whichever comes first. And I mean ‘starts’ to fray, not when your toothbrush resembles the spines of an echidna.
A soft bristled brush is usually better for your teeth than medium or hard, and a small headed brush can help you reach all areas of the mouth.
The right toothpaste is also important and not all toothpastes are created equal. Make sure your toothpaste contains fluoride. If you would like more information on choosing the right toothpaste, read our earlier blog on this subject here.
☑️The right technique
You know how important brushing your teeth is – but are you doing it correctly and for long enough?
Did you know that only 23 per cent of Aussies brush their teeth for the minimum two minutes?
It’s easy to get caught up in a mad rush before work or school or the gym, and sometimes we can just quickly skip over teeth and not spend the time that is needed to brush properly.
Brush your teeth for a good 2+ minutes to ensure you don’t miss any spots. Try using a stop watch or consider buying a medium-priced electric toothbrush which includes a built-in timer to make life really simple.
Remember, when it comes to brushing, harder isn’t better. Start from the gum, and go up and down, in gentle little circular, up-and-down motions and don’t forget to brush the gum line or your tongue.
Giving your tongue a good clean is very important because tonnes of nasty bacteria like to hang out there.
☑️Floss, floss and floss
I can’t nag you about this one enough because its something, as a general rule, we are often pretty slack about.
So here is my ‘take home’ message this month. Flossing should be considered just as important as brushing.
At Taree Dental Care we recommend that you floss between your teeth EVERY DAY to help remove debris that can often get stuck in places our toothbrush cannot reach. Before bed is usually the best time to floss, but whenever you decide, make it part of your daily routine.
Leave a packet of floss next to your toothbrush, or on the kitchen bench, or coffee table, or in your car. Or in ALL of those places. Some place that will remind you to use it every.SINGLE.day.
Trust me, you will be surprised just what comes out from between your teeth on that little piece of thin white thread!
☑️Rinsing your mouth
Adding a mouth wash to the mix can help to wash away left-over debris and freshen breath. Just remember that mouthwash or rinse is a supplement to your oral hygiene routine – it does NOT replace twice-daily brushing and daily flossing.
If you are in any doubt, check with us to find a suitable mouth wash that will work for you.
☑️You are what you eat
Yes the cliche is true, you are what you eat and your mouth teeth and gums are no exception.
To keep your teeth strong and healthy and protect your teeth enamel, eat a balanced diet and limit sugar (especially Easter eggs) and acidic foods like soft drink, coffee and alcohol. Drink more water.
And finally, if you are a smoker, tobacco stains your teeth, causes bad breath and diminishes your taste. I won’t include a lecture here but, as a health practitioner, you know my advice………🛑.
Maintaining good oral hygiene is one of the most important things you can do for your teeth and gums, and good oral health is important to your overall well-being.
Let us help you to keep your dental hygiene in check. Don’t wait for a problem, be proactive, and call us now to book in for a check-up. While you are visiting us, our experienced Taree dental team can provide you with professional advice regarding any of these oral hygiene tips or answer any other questions you have.
Phone us at Taree Dental Care on (02) 6550 0960 to make an appointment. We’d love to see you – and your smile.
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