It’s no secret that prevention is the best dental medicine, and most people realize that their daily hygiene routine is the cornerstone of that prevention. However, many people also lack in certain areas of their hygiene routine, and that can leave their smiles vulnerable to chronic issues like tooth decay and gum disease. Therefore, such conditions are much more common they need to be. Today, we offer a bit of advice for better oral hygiene at home and including your dentist in your efforts to keep your smile healthy.
Good hygiene seems at simple after a certain age because it becomes second nature. You don’t have to consciously remember how to brush and floss because you’re used to it. However, that complacency can also render your hygiene useless if you don’t ensure that you’re cleaning your teeth properly. Today, we examine a few ways you can fortify your hygiene routine by revisiting a few basics and offering a few tips for optimal results.
Tweak Your Routine
- Consistency is key: One of the biggest mistakes people make in their hygiene routines is skipping it in the morning or evenings. Just because you’ve been good the last couple of weeks doesn’t mean you’re in the clear to skip one. Doing so gives plaque a chance to harden into tartar, and your toothpaste won’t be able to remove it anymore.
- Floss first: When you floss, you dislodge food particles and oral bacteria that land on your teeth and gums. When you brush, you can sweep and rinse these particles away easier. Otherwise, they’d remain until you brushed your teeth again, and the cycle would repeat itself.
- Brush and floss before bed: When you sleep oral bacteria accumulate excessively, thriving in the absence of oxygen-rich saliva. Cleaning your teeth before bed reduces this buildup by the time you wake up in the morning.
- Breakfast before brushing: When you wake in the morning, nighttime bacteria can make your mouth feel so icky that your first impulse is to brush your teeth. However, eating breakfast first stimulates your saliva to flow freely again, which aids in washing away harmful oral bacteria.
Brush and floss in front of the mirror
Brushing and flossing your teeth is only effective when you clean every surface of your teeth. To be sure that you do, stand in front of your mirror and watch closely every time you brush and floss. You’ll also be less likely to brush too harshly and more likely to successfully remove all traces of plaque and food particles.
Don’t over-feed oral bacteria
The oral bacteria that build up dental plaque are most dangerous when they metabolize nutrients into harmful substances, like acids and toxins. The more often you eat, the more of these substances they produce. Therefore, be sure not to snack often throughout the day, and be sure to brush or rinse your teeth with water after every meal and snack.
Focusing on Gum Health
- When you brush your teeth, be sure to angle your toothbrush at about a 45-degree angle to effectively clean the germs along your gum line. Otherwise, they may slip past your toothbrush and underneath your gums, where you will no longer be able to reach them, and lead to progressive gum irritation and infection.
- Add mouth rinse to your hygiene routine for improved results. Swishing mouth rinse around in your mouth will help dislodge and wash away plaque and food particles that your toothbrush bristles can’t reach. For optimal results, ask your dentist to recommend a rinse that includes antibacterial properties.
- Even when you’re not at your bathroom sink cleaning your teeth, you can still fight harmful oral bacteria by drinking plenty of water throughout the day. On one hand, water helps neutralize harmful microbes; on the other, it keeps your saliva flowing at optimal levels to rinse them away when you aren’t brushing or rinsing.
Let your dentist lend a hand
Even with a diligent hygiene routine at home, it can be easy to miss a spot of plaque, or a few, every once in a while. The problem is that these spots calcify into tartar, which you can only remove with help from your dentist or hygienist. Attend a checkup and cleaning appointment at least once every six months so you can have this film removed, along with the increased risks of dental diseases that come with it.
Better oral hygiene includes regular preventive care
Good hygiene is the cornerstone of good dental health, but only if you practice it correctly and consistently. Taking care of your smile is important, and with better hygiene practices, you can do so much more effectively. To learn more, 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 in the Chicago Metro area.