August 7 kicks off dental health week. This is a good time to take a look at your oral health routine.For some people, oral health is a chore that is difficult to fit into the daily routine, but it doesn’t have to be that way. In fact, taking care of your teeth now will save you a lot of time in the long run.
You probably know that brushing your teeth twice a day can help prevent cavities and gum disease. It can also keep your breath smelling fresh. However, there is a right way to brush.
Choose the right toothbrush
You need a toothbrush with soft bristles to avoid damage to your teeth and gums. Look for a toothbrush with a small head and flexible neck to give you the best reach. Also, don’t forget to replace your toothbrush every three months. An old, worn out toothbrush cannot clean your teeth effectively.
Use good technique
Your toothbrush needs to be at a 45 degree angle to your gum line. This will allow your toothbrush to clean your teeth down to and just below your gums. Brush gently in a circular motion. Brushing too hard or brushing back and forth can cause damage to the teeth or gums. Be sure to brush inner, outer, and biting surfaces of all teeth. It helps to divide your mouth into quadrants for this; upper left, upper right, lower left, and lower right. Brushing each quadrant for about 30 seconds will give you the recommended total of two minutes of brushing.
After all teeth are thoroughly cleaned, take a few seconds to brush your tongue. You would be surprised at how much bacteria your tongue hangs onto, and bacteria means bad breath. When you are done, spit out the toothpaste, but don’t rinse. Leaving toothpaste on your teeth for a little while gives added protection.
You can’t clean between your teeth with a toothbrush. This is where flossing comes in. Use about 45cm of floss and wrap the ends around your middle fingers. Hold the floss between your thumbs and forefingers and gently guide the floss between your teeth. Use a side to side motion to ensure the surfaces of each tooth is clean. If you find it difficult to floss thoroughly, a floss pick can help.
Everything you put into your mouth affects the health of your teeth. There are several things you can do to make sure your diet benefits your mouth.
Most beverages contain significant amounts of sugar. Even unsweetened coffee and tea are acidic and can stain your teeth. The best beverage for your oral health is pure, clean water. Drinking plenty of water helps to rinse away food particles and neutralize acid between brushings.
Your saliva does a fair job of neutralizing acid, but not if you are constantly snacking. Limit snacking to give your mouth a break and allow your saliva to do its job in protecting your teeth. Also, limiting sugary snacks to after dinner and before your evening brushing will limit the time sugar has to damage your teeth.
Keep some sugar free gum (be sure it’s sugar free!) on hand for those times when you feel like snacking. Chewing gum helps stimulate saliva production to help neutralize acids.
To learn more about effective brushing and flossing and how diet affects your teeth, call Westside Denture on 07 3278 0580 now to arrange an appointment.