The good thing about dental hygiene these days is that keeping your smile healthy is simpler than it’s ever been. For instance, brushing your teeth twice a day with a soft-bristle toothbrush and fluoride-enhanced toothpaste, along with flossing every day with tooth-friendly floss, can be enough to keep plaque from clinging to your teeth. However, brushing and flossing aren’t the only tools that modern dentistry provides. In case your hygiene routine is missing something, we take a look at a few other ways to protect your dental health.
Adding an interproximal brush to your hygiene regimen is a great idea. Remember not to use it between your front teeth.
Use Mouthwash for an Extra Boost
Every time you brush and floss your teeth, you have to rinse your mouth of everything that your toothbrush and floss have freed. Water is usually enough to wash away the plaque and food particles. But, with the right mouthwash, rinsing can also help you fight off oral bacteria and strengthen your tooth enamel. Choose a product that includes fluoride and has the ADA seal of approval for optimal results.
The best mouthwash depends upon what you want it to accomplish. Some deter gum disease, others deter tooth decay, and most also freshen breath. Here are a few points to consider the next time you purchase mouth wash:
- Gum disease fighting mouthwash has an anti-bacterial ingredient that battles plaque.
- Cavity fighting mouthwash contains fluoride, a naturally occurring mineral that attracts other minerals to strengthen tooth enamel.
- Mouth rinses that contain alcohol aren’t a good choice for children under 6 years of age or recovering alcoholics. Some mouthwashes contain up to 75 percent alcohol.
- Nursing and pregnant mothers should avoid mouthwash.
- Rinse your mouth with mouthwash for 30 seconds, then spit it out. Avoid eating or drinking for 30 minutes afterward.
- Mouthwashes with chlorhexidine or cetylpyridinium chloride can cause teeth stains.
Don’t Forget the Tongue Scraper
Oral bacteria don’t just cling to your teeth and gums; many of them prefer to gather on the surface of your tongue. These are usually the bacteria responsible for chronic bad breath when they’re allowed to accumulate. In addition to brushing and flossing your teeth, use your toothbrush or a tongue scraper to carefully clean your tongue every time.
Team Up with Your Dentist
Keeping your teeth clean with good hygiene at home is essential, but alone, it isn’t enough to keep your teeth consistently clean. Regular checkup and cleaning appointments with your dentist are necessary to remove calcified plaque (tartar) that your toothbrush and floss can’t remove. Otherwise, the bacteria that tartar hides can grow in numbers and lead to issues like tooth decay, gum disease, and more.
Learn How to Get Better at a Dental Hygiene Routine
Your daily hygiene routine is the cornerstone of a consistently healthy smile. To learn more about how to improve it, schedule a consultation by calling Lake Forest Dental Arts in Lake Forest, IL, at 847-234-0517. We also proudly serve residents of Chicago and all surrounding communities.