There are numerous incentives to keep your mouth healthy. Not only does good oral health prevent tooth decay and diseases like periodontitis (which can lead to even larger issues like respiratory illness and heart disease), but a great smile can also give you a big confidence boost. However, you’d be surprised how many people are missing important steps to maintaining your oral health. That’s why we’re here to give you a refresher course on good oral hygiene.
1. Don’t just brush—brush correctly!
It is important to brush your teeth twice daily—though brushing your teeth before bed and after meals is also very important as it can help prevent bacteria and plaque buildup. Hold your toothbrush at a 45-degree angle against the gums. Moving your brush back and forth in small, tooth-wide strokes, gently begin to clean every surface of your teeth. This includes the chewing and inner surfaces of your teeth in addition to the outside. You may also want to use the tip of the toothbrush to clean the inner front teeth.
2. Don’t forget your tongue.
Your tongue can harbor quite a bit of bacteria from food. This can lead to bad breath, as well as a number of other oral health conditions. When brushing your teeth, be sure to take the toothbrush and thoroughly scrub the surface of your tongue to remove this plaque buildup.
3. Be sure to floss daily!
Flossing daily is critical for preventing tooth decay and gum disease. It is recommended that you floss at least once a day, so try to start developing the habit of flossing when you brush your teeth. To do so, take about 18 inches of floss and wrap it around one finger on each hand. Then, gently guide the floss between your teeth with a gentle up-and-down rubbing motion. Once you have reached the gum line, curve the floss around the tooth and slide it in the space between the gum and tooth. You should then bring the floss down and curve it around the adjacent tooth, cleaning between that gum line and tooth as well.
4. Choose the right toothpaste.
It is important to consider more than flavors and whitening power when purchasing toothpaste. Read the label and be certain to choose toothpaste that contains fluoride. This substance is critical for combatting germs that cause tooth decay. It also serves as a protective barrier for teeth, so the effects of brushing last longer.
5. Use mouthwash.
Mouthwash is a smart addition to any home care routine. Not only does it give you fresh breath, but it also cleans hard-to-reach areas around the gums and reduces the amount of acid in your mouth. It can also restore any depleted minerals in your teeth. This also greatly assists those who don’t have the easiest time with flossing—such as children and seniors.
6. Drink lots of water.
Water is critical to your overall health, and your oral health is no exception. Drinking water can keep your saliva levels high, as well as rinse away some of the bacteria and food debris that may be lingering in your teeth after eating.
7. Maintain a healthy, balanced diet.
Be sure to eat your fruits and vegetables! Fibrous and crunch fruits and vegetables (think: carrots) are great for your oral health. They naturally scrape off bacteria that are lingering on your teeth and can help kids to build jaw strength. You should also skip the sugars and acidic foods, which can feed the bacteria that leads to tooth decay.
8. Visit us twice a year!
Keeping biannual appointments with your dentist is important to prevent oral health conditions like gum disease and tooth decay. You’ll also receive a professional cleaning when you come to Caputo Dental, which will help to prevent issues down the road.
Ready to boost your oral health? Call Caputo Dental in Naperville to schedule your biannual appointment and start your oral health routine today!