Good oral hygiene is critical, and this includes regular brushing and flossing. Here, our Ajax dentists share key oral hygiene steps that can help keep your teeth and gums healthy.
Brushing Your Teeth
Brushing your teeth is probably the most important thing you can do every day to maintain your oral health. Brush your teeth two or three times a day, for two minutes at a time.
To get the best possible 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 fronts, backs, and biting surfaces of each tooth.
Tip: Try Switching To an Electric Toothbrush
An electric toothbrush makes it easier to clean your teeth. They require less effort than manual brushes since they perform the correct brushing movement for you. Choose an electric toothbrush with a round, rotating head, as this makes the ideal circular brushing motion.
Since the head is fairly small, it’s easier to clean those awkward, hard-to-reach spots, like your back molars, and the backs of your front teeth.
You should floss at least once a day, preferably at night before bed. Flossing dislodges food debris and build-up from between your teeth, in the places your toothbrush can’t reach.
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 Check-ups & Cleanings
Attending appointments with your dentist every six months for a dental cleaning and check-up is key 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.
You can help prevent cavities by staying hydrated! Drinking lots of water will help you maintain a sufficient flow of saliva, and saliva washes away the food particles that collect on your teeth and let bacteria multiply.
Supplementary Hygiene Aids
Oral hygiene aids are additions to your brushing and flossing routine. Good examples of supplementary hygiene aids include mouth wash, interdental cleaners, oral irrigators, and tongue cleaners.
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 improve it.