Good oral health is not only important to your appearance but also essential for your overall physical health. Good oral hygiene helps prevent a variety of different dental problems. Even a healthy mouth is full of bacteria, most of which is harmless. Daily brushing and regular flossing, coupled with the body’s strong immune system, keeps that bacteria from reaching harmful levels that could eventually lead to infections, such as tooth decay and gum disease.
Missing teeth and bad breath are not the only signs of poor oral health. Other very serious diseases that can result from not taking adequate care of your teeth, hence the importance of regular visits with your oral hygienist. These visits will help promote and maintain healthy teeth and gums.
Here are some tips that will assist you in maintaining your pearly whites in the best possible condition. They are all easy to implement.
ORAL HYGIENE TIP #1: Correct tooth brushing technique
It’s necessary to brush your teeth at least twice a day – after breakfast in the morning and before bed at night. To adequately remove the plaque from our teeth we need to spend a minimum of 2 minutes brushing on each occasion. Start by placing the bristles of the toothbrush right on the gum line, as this is where plaque begins to form. Then gently brush the gum line in a circular motion before proceeding to brush the inner, outer and biting edges of your teeth.
ORAL HYGIENE TIP #2: Eliminating bacteria between teeth
To remove the plaque that forms between your teeth, floss after brushing at least once daily. Pass a length of floss between your teeth using a low, back-and-forth motion. Remember: practice makes perfect!
Another option is to use flossettes, which you can manage with just one hand. For larger interproximal spaces, piksters are also a good cleaning tool. If you are not quite sure what you should use and you need help deciding which option is best for you, feel free to organise an appointment with your hygienist.
ORAL HYGIENE TIP #3: You are what you eat!
Following the right diet is important in maintaining healthy teeth. A high intake of sugary foods and soda drinks can increase your risk of tooth decay and tooth erosion. Tooth erosion can cause sensitivity, discolouration and cracks over time.
Eating a healthy, well-balanced diet will help reduce your risk of tooth decay and tooth erosion. For example, try replacing white sugar with honey, or cordials and sports drinks with water as it is less acidic. Another way to help your mouth fight bacteria is to try a product that promotes saliva productions, such as sugar-free chewing gum.