Two of the most important components of your oral hygiene routine are brushing and flossing, but there are other essential elements as well. In this post, our Nepean dentists outline some steps to maintain your oral health and keep your teeth and gums disease-free.
One of the most important things you can do every day to maintain your oral health is brushing your teeth. This task should be done two to three times a day, for two minutes per session.
For ideal results, brush each "quadrant" of your teeth (upper right, upper left, lower right, lower left) for 30 seconds. Carefully brush all the exposed surfaces of your teeth, including the biting surfaces, backs and fronts, of each tooth.
Tip: Use an Electric Toothbrush
An electric toothbrush can make it easier to clean your teeth, since they need less effort than manual brushes as they perform the correct brushing movement for you. Choose an electric toothbrush with a round, rotating head because this makes the ideal circular brushing motion.
Plus, because the head is quite small, this makes it easier to clean those awkward, hard-to-reach spots such as the backs of your front teeth and the back molars.
Floss at least once every day, preferably at night before bed. By flossing, you'll dislodge buildup and food debris from between your teeth, in the places you won't be able to reach with your toothbrush.
Insert the floss between two teeth and run it up and down the side of each, pulling it into a “c” shape in both directions. Proceed slowly and thoroughly, and be sure to floss between every two teeth.
Professional Dental Cleanings & Checkups
Visiting the dentist every six months for a dental cleaning and checkup is essential to maintaining oral health.
Your dentist has the expertise and tools required to remove plaque and tartar build-up that you can't remove yourself with brushing and flossing.
Your dentist will also be able to identify dental problems in the beginning stages if they see you often enough, and treat them before they get worse. Oral health problems like cavities, gum disease and even tumours, cysts and other abnormalities are often not noticeable to the untrained eye in their early stages, so it's important to get your mouth evaluated regularly by a dental professional.
Eating a healthy diet that’s rich in calcium helps keep your teeth healthy from the inside out. Restrict consumption of sugars and starches, because oral bacteria thrive on these.
Staying hydrated can help prevent cavities! Drinking plenty of water will help you maintain a sufficient saliva flow, and saliva washes away the food particles that collect on your teeth and allow bacteria to multiply.
Supplementary Hygiene Aids
Oral hygiene aids are additions to your brushing and flossing routine. Good examples of supplementary hygiene aids include tongue cleaners, mouthwash, interdental cleaners, and oral irrigators.
These aids can help you keep your breath fresh, and prevent plaque from building up between brushing and flossing sessions. While they are not sufficient replacements for a thorough brushing and flossing routine, they can definitely help it.