In celebration of National Dental Hygiene Month, the family dentists at Heroes Dental want to encourage you to take a closer look at your current oral hygiene routine and see where you may be lacking.
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) reveal that cavities are a health concern for individuals of all ages. But you can save your pearly whites and ensure they stay sparkling for a lifetime by following 4 simple daily oral hygiene practices.
Along with a healthy diet, these 4 must do’s will help children and adults alike, to achieve vibrant smiles, healthy gums, and fresh breath.
The Daily 4 Essential Oral Hygiene Practices
- Brushing is the Foundation of Oral Hygiene
We all know that the most important step to having clean teeth and fresh breath is to brush your teeth daily. You should be brushing your teeth for 2 minutes at a time, at least once in the morning and once at night. And, if you have time to squeeze in an extra brush after a meal, go ahead!
When brushing, do small horizontal tooth-wide motions to cover all surfaces of your teeth. Tilt your toothbrush vertically to scrub behind your front teeth where plaque can build up.
Remember to use a soft-bristled toothbrush and fluoride toothpaste for the ultimate clean. Don’t forget to brush your tongue, too.
- Clean Between Your Teeth with Floss
As important as it is, many people forget to floss daily. Plaque and food particles can get lodged between the small crevices of your teeth and harden over time, making its removal more difficult.
If you find yourself struggling to make the effort to floss every day, make it easier to remember by storing the floss with your toothbrush, or carrying it with you so that you can floss when you take a bathroom break at work or school.
By incorporating this essential step into your daily oral hygiene practice, you minimize your chances of periodontal disease or gingivitis.
- Rinse to Eliminate Bacteria
Flossing and brushing have got your teeth and gums covered. But how about the cheeks, the roof of your mouth, or other areas that you might have missed?
Rinsing will allow you to clean those hard to reach places and flush away food, plaque, and bacterias that can lead to gum disease, cavities, and enamel erosion.
You should always rinse with a mouthwash that has the ADA seal of approval. Rinsing can freshen your breath and help to whiten teeth as well. It is recommended to incorporate this habit at least once daily.
- Carry Sugar-Free Gum for an On-the-Go Clean
Did you know that sugar-free gum can really help to improve your oral health? Chewing on a piece of gum after having a meal can help to promote saliva production.
Saliva is essential to breaking down food particles. It also helps to neutralize the acidity levels in the mouth that can cause enamel erosion and dental caries. A healthy production of saliva will also help to eliminate bad breath caused by a dry mouth.
For cleaner gums and teeth, keep a pack of sugar-free gum handy and chew it throughout the day. This on-the-go method is especially effective after meals when food particles are still lingering around.
What Role Does Your Diet Play in Your Dental Health?
Foods that are high in starch, sugar, or have high acidic levels, should not be consumed too often. Foods that cause erosion of tooth enamel or which can cause cavities should be eaten in moderation.
Beverages can be sugary and acidic as well. Even your daily morning coffee can cause stains and break down enamel, causing teeth to look dull. For a whiter smile and stronger teeth, make wiser food choices and try to clean teeth after meals.
Some foods that help to promote dental health are fruits and vegetables, which have a high water content, essential fibers, and nutrients. The crunch in high fiber fruits and veggies also allows them to naturally scrub the surfaces of your teeth, assisting in the removal of bacteria and plaque.
Improving your eating habits, staying hydrated and practicing the 4 essential oral hygiene practices can allow you to optimize your oral health. This will make regular dental check-ups a breeze.
Visit your family dentist at Heroes Dental to properly celebrate National Dental Hygiene Month.
Regular dental checkups can help to catch oral health issues at the onset and make recovery easy. We treat patients of all ages and provide a variety of treatments to help everyone achieve the perfect smile.