Poor oral health affects many areas of your life, including your physical and mental health, wellbeing, and confidence, so it must be a priority. Many people want to improve their oral health but are not sure where to start. If this sounds familiar, the following guide is a fantastic place to start.
Know When to Brush Your Teeth
Most people are aware that they should brush their teeth a minimum of twice a day, but when you choose to brush them is as important as the frequency. During the day saliva works to protect your teeth from harmful acids, but while you sleep you produce less saliva, making it particularly crucial to brush your teeth before bed. Do not eat or drink anything but water between brushing and sleeping.
If you want to improve your oral health, consider cleaning your teeth after each meal, in addition to your morning and nighttime routine. After you eat, the sugars in your food turn to acid and can cause tooth decay. Brushing within 30 minutes after eating, particularly after eating sugary food, can help you avoid cavities.
Brush Your Teeth Properly
The aim of brushing your teeth is to remove the build-up of plaque that coats your teeth and gums during the day because not doing so leads to decay and gum disease. To achieve this, you must brush your teeth properly.
Use fluoride toothpaste and a dentist-approved soft-bristled toothbrush and brush in gentle, circular strokes. Take your time and make sure you brush all surfaces of your teeth; it should take around two minutes. Brushing your tongue can also help remove plaque and reduce bad odors caused by bacteria.
Once you’ve finished, spit out the excess toothpaste but don’t rinse your mouth immediately as this will wash away the protective fluoride. Using fluoride mouthwash can be a good protective measure, but don’t use it right after brushing because it will remove the concentrated fluoride left on your teeth by your toothpaste. Instead, use mouthwash before brushing to remove food debris or after a meal or snack.
Don’t Forget to Floss
Flossing removes plaque from between the teeth that you can’t reach with a toothbrush and should be done at least once a day. Many people avoid flossing as they find it difficult, often because they aren’t using the best products for their teeth. If you struggle with flossing, ask your dentist for advice.
Maintain a Tooth-Friendly Diet
Having a balanced diet helps your overall health immeasurably. A good diet for oral health includes drinking plenty of water, eating various foods from the five major food groups, and avoiding sugary and acidic food.
Avoid Damaging Behaviors
One of the best ways to improve your oral health is to avoid behaviors that can damage or break your teeth, such as smoking, chewing ice, biting hard goods like boiled candies, breaking plastic tags with your teeth, and playing contact sports without a mouthguard.
Visit Your Dentist Regularly
Having regular dental appointments -at least twice a year- will help improve your oral health. Your dentist will be able to catch issues early, giving treatment the best chance to work. It is essential not to delay necessary dental treatment as the problem can worsen.
If you’re concerned about your oral health and would like more advice about how to improve it, speak with your dentist. At Valley Dental Care of Plainfield, our patients’ wellbeing is our number one priority. Call us today to schedule your initial consultation.