Dental hygiene is essential for maintaining a healthy mouth and preventing cavities, gum disease, and bad breath. It’s also important for your overall health. But with so many different products and techniques out there, it can be hard to know where to start. Here are five tips to help you get on the path to good dental health.
1. Brush Your Teeth At Least Twice a Day
This is the most basic and important step in good dental hygiene. Be sure to brush for two minutes, using a circular, back-and-forth, and up-and-down motions. Don’t forget to brush your tongue too. Remember to also take your kids for their dental check-ups, as statistics show that over 40% of children have tooth decay by the age of five.
If you can, brush after every meal. This will help remove food particles and plaque that can lead to cavities and gum disease. If you’re on the go, keep a travel toothbrush and toothpaste with you so you can brush when you have time. And remember to replace your toothbrush every three months, or sooner if the bristles start to fray.
In addition to brushing, flossing is key to getting rid of plaque and bacteria that can cause cavities and gum disease. Unfortunately, only 13.5% of Americans floss daily as of 2021. This number needs to increase.
Be sure to floss at least once a day, using about 18 inches of floss. Gently guide the floss between your teeth using a back-and-forth motion. Be careful not to injure your gums. When you reach the gum line, curve the floss around each tooth in a C shape and slide it up and down against the side of the tooth.
2. Use Mouthwash
Mouthwash can help remove food particles and plaque from your teeth and gums. It’s a good idea to use mouthwash after you brush and floss.
There are many different kinds of mouthwash on the market, so find one that’s right for you. If you have sensitive teeth, look for an alcohol-free mouthwash. And if you’re worried about bad breath, choose a minty mouthwash to freshen your breath. Ensure you swish the mouthwash around in your mouth for 30 seconds before you spit it out.
3. Eat Healthy Foods
What you eat has a big impact on your dental health. Be sure to include plenty of fruits, vegetables, and whole grains in your diet. These foods contain important vitamins and minerals that help keep your teeth and gums healthy. In addition, eat moderate amounts of dairy products like milk and yogurt. Dairy products are a good source of calcium, which is necessary for strong teeth.
And limit sugary and acidic foods and drinks, as they can damage your tooth enamel. If you do eat sugary or acidic foods, be sure to brush your teeth soon afterward.
4. Quit Smoking
If you smoke cigarettes, now is the time to quit. Smoking is one of the worst things you can do for your dental health. It increases your risk of gum disease, cavities, oral cancer, and bad breath. It also stains your teeth and makes them more susceptible to decay.
There are many resources available to help you quit smoking. Talk to your doctor about nicotine replacement therapy or other medications that can help you kick the habit.
5. Go for Regular Dental Checkups
Even if you brush and floss regularly, it’s important to see your dentist for regular checkups. During these appointments, your dentist will clean your teeth and look for any problems. They can also catch issues early before they become serious. Most people should see their dentist every six months, but you may need to go more often if you have a history of dental problems.
Did you know that 44% of Americans wish they had taken better care of their teeth when they were younger? Fortunately, it’s never too late to start taking care of your teeth. Good dental hygiene habits will help keep your mouth healthy for years to come. So take the first step today and start taking care of your teeth.