Your oral hygiene has a significant impact on your health in general. For instance, gum disease has been linked to health issues such as Alzheimer’s, preterm labor, diabetes, stroke, and even heart disease. Oral issues can also affect your ears, necessitating a visit to an ear clinic. That’s why you need to pay extra attention to your dental care routine. For most people, their routine primarily involves brushing and flossing. However, there’s more you can do to keep your gums and teeth healthy and improve your overall well-being. Here are 19 detailed dental care tips that boost overall health.
1. Brush Your Teeth for Two Minutes Twice A Day
Regular care is the first step in our detailed dental care tips to keep your teeth clean and healthy. Brushing your teeth for two minutes twice a day, also known as the 2×2 rule, keeps plaque at bay. If you have children, introduce this concept early, and try to make it fun. For example, you can play music while they’re brushing or set a timer to alert you when two full minutes have elapsed. To ensure you clean every tooth, spend at least 30 seconds on each quadrant (lower left side, lower right side, upper left side, upper right side).
Using the right techniques will ensure your teeth are cleaned properly without damaging the soft tissue that surrounds them. Set the brush head at an angle so that it faces the gums while making small circular motions. Be sure to thoroughly clean both the front and back surfaces of your teeth and along the gum line. Some people find an electronic toothbrush to be effective.
2. Replace Your Toothbrush When You See Signs of Wear
Replacing your toothbrush comes second in our detailed dental care tips that boost overall health. Generally speaking, replacing your toothbrush every three to six months should keep it in good enough condition to effectively clean your teeth. In addition to poorly cleaning your teeth’s surface, a frayed or damaged toothbrush can damage your gums. Replacing your toothbrush regularly is key to keeping your teeth clean. Thoroughly rinse your toothbrush after each use and store it in a dry area. Always change your toothbrush after being sick to avoid re-introducing the bacteria into your mouth.
3. Always Start by Brushing from the Back
Using this approach will ensure you clean those hard-to-reach spots, which is important as all those nooks and crannies of your molars increase their likelihood of developing cavities and gum disease. Starting your brushing routine in the back (at least occasionally) is a great way of giving the teeth at the back of your mouth enough attention. This is a valuable entry in our list of detailed dental care tips.
4. Wait Before Brushing
If you’re the type of person who drinks a glass of orange juice first thing in the morning, you should hold off on brushing your teeth for a bit afterward. Low-pH foods and beverages or acidic foods temporarily soften tooth enamel. If you brush your teeth right after, you risk removing some of the enamel, increasing your chances of developing decay down the road. Always delay brushing after consuming tomatoes, citrus fruits, juices, wine, or soda. Waiting for 30 to 60 minutes to brush your teeth after drinking a soda will reduce the amount of wear on your teeth.
5. Floss Daily
As part of our detailed dental care tips, always floss before brushing your teeth at night to get rid of any debris that your toothbrush can’t dislodge. While most people admit to overlooking this step, it’s essential for a healthy dental routine. If you just brush your teeth without flossing, you’ll be left with small particles of food and other debris that can develop into decay. Spend two minutes each day flossing to prevent this. If you have sensitive gums, you may experience some discomfort when you first start flossing. This is normal and will go away after a few days of flossing. When flossing, be sure to move the floss up and down the length of the tooth.
6. Stay Hydrated
In addition to being beneficial for your overall health, staying hydrated promotes a healthy saliva flow. Saliva helps to move food particles through your mouth, preventing them from getting stuck between your teeth where bacteria can thrive. Additionally, it keeps your mouth moist and comfortable.
7. Use Fluoride
Fluorine, a substance found in soil, is the source of fluoride. Fluoride prevents cavities and is a common ingredient in mouthwash and toothpaste. However, not all dental products contain fluoride, and some people don’t use it at all. Even if you take care of your teeth in other ways, a lack of fluoride has been proven to lead to tooth decay and cavities.
Brushing and flossing don’t prevent cavities if fluoride isn’t used. In many American communities, fluoride has been added to the water supply. The ADA, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), and The World Health Organization (WHO) are some of the organizations that endorse this practice. Get in touch with your local government to find out if the water in your region contains fluoride. If you use well water, check the fluoride levels to establish how much is present. Most bottled water brands don’t contain fluoride.
8. See Your Dentist Regularly
Professionals recommend getting a dental checkup every six months. During your routine dental checkup, a hygienist will clean your teeth and remove hardened tartar and plaque. Your adult orthodontist will also check for signs of mouth cancer, gum disease, and cavities, among other oral health issues. In some cases, they may employ dental X-rays to check for cavities. Children and teenagers should visit the dentist every six months to prevent cavities. However, those who observe good dental hygiene practices daily are at a lower risk of developing oral health problems and don’t have to visit the dentist as frequently.
More high-quality research needs to be done to confirm the appropriate frequency of dental visits. Talk to your dentist to establish how often you need to go in for a checkup. This will be primarily determined by your age, dental health, and overall health history. However, if you notice any changes in your mouth, visit a dentist as soon as possible. Once the frequency is established, make sure to keep up with your appointments just as you would your hair specialist or body sculpting appointment.
9. Regularly Examine Your Mouth At Home
While visiting your dentist regularly is great preventive practice, problems may arise in between appointments. As part of your daily routine, perform a quick scan of your mouth to catch issues early on. Look for unusual changes in your teeth and gums. If you notice anything worrying, phone your dentist’s office or make sure to discuss it with your dentist when you go in for your next appointment. Self-exams are a key part of our detailed dental care tips.
10. Avoid Smoking
Avoiding the smoke shop is also an important part of our detailed dental care tips. Smoking weakens the immune system of your body, making it more challenging for the body to heal tissues. The CDC lists smoking as a risk factor for gum disease, and the ADA cautions smokers that their bodies may recover slowly following dental work.
Smoking also alters the appearance of your mouth by causing the teeth and tongue to turn yellow and can make your breath smell terrible.
11. Cut Back On Starches and Sugary Foods
This is one of the best entries in our detailed dental care tips. Studies continue to emphasize the role sugar plays in poor oral health. Desserts and candy are common culprits, but most processed foods contain added sugar. The WHO advises you to keep your daily sugar intake under 10% of total calories. Reducing this to 5% will further reduce the incidence of cavities and other oral issues. Starchy foods such as pasta, chips, bread, and crackers can also cause tooth decay. According to the ADA, such foods stay in the mouth for a long time and decompose into simple sugars, which acid-producing bacteria feed on. This can lead to tooth decay. The ADA advises consuming lots of fiber-rich vegetables and fruits, and dairy products without added sugar in place of starchy meals.
12. Consider Mouthwash
Mouthwash can benefit your oral health. For instance, mouthwash containing the antibacterial ingredient chlorhexidine helps in the management of plaque and gingivitis. According to meta-analysis, certain essential oil-infused mouthwashes are also effective. To find out which mouthwash is appropriate for your specific needs, consult your dentist. While mouthwash can’t replace brushing and flossing entirely, it can support these practices.
13. Consider Dental Sealants
Dental sealant helps to prevent cavities and plaque by filling up the crevices and depressions of your molars and premolars. Most people can benefit from sealants, but kids and teenagers are especially ideal candidates since they typically don’t brush as effectively as adults, increasing their risk of developing cavities. If damage has already occurred, consider getting dental fillings.
14. Observe A Healthy Diet
As you limit sugary foods, start eating more calcium-rich foods to maintain a set of strong and healthy teeth. Leafy greens, cheese, yogurt, and almonds are examples of foods that can strengthen your teeth. Ask your dentist for advice on what foods will promote strong and healthy teeth.
15. Use Dental Hygiene Products
Although brushing and flossing are essential for preventative dental health, you can incorporate supplemental products such as tongue cleaners, interdental cleaners, oral irrigators, and mouthwash into your routine. These products should be used in addition to routine brushing and flossing, not in place of it, to maintain good oral health. Consult your dentist on the use of these products because if you mistakenly injure yourself, not even an injury lawyer could help you.
16. Take a Selfie Video
Even though it may seem odd, taking a selfie video makes it to our list of detailed dental care tips. Research published in the Indian Journal of Dental Research suggests that recording yourself while brushing your teeth might help improve your technique. After recording themselves brushing their teeth to create a baseline, participants in the research were instructed and guided until they mastered the right technique. Over two weeks, they recorded themselves using their smartphones, which they propped on a stand. At the conclusion of the study, researchers discovered that although participants continued to brush for the same period, they did improve their technique overall. Recording yourself as you brush your teeth makes you more conscious of what you’re doing, and you’ll probably perform better as you’ll be conscious of the camera. Once you’re done, you can review the footage to note what you need to improve.
17. Eat Teeth-whitening Foods
some foods can indeed keep your teeth looking pearly white. Lettuce, carrots, pears, apples, cucumbers, celery, and other raw, coarse, fibrous foods help exfoliate tooth surfaces and eliminate plaque buildup that can cause teeth to appear yellow. Because eating these crunchy foods requires more chewing time, saliva production is stimulated. Saliva neutralizes acids that can damage your teeth.
18. Don’t Sip Sugary Drinks for Too Long
While you should limit sugary drinks in your diet when you have a beverage like coffee, sweet tea, or soda, it’s best to consume it all at once. When you expose your mouth and teeth to sugar throughout the day, certain bacteria use it as a food source and turn it into lactic acid. As the lactic acid starts to break down the minerals in your teeth, cavities start to form.
19. Clean Your Toothbrush Holder
Do you remember the last time you gave your toothbrush holder a good cleaning? Not only does it hold your brush, but it also harbors most of the bacteria that live in your bathroom. According to a National Sanitation Foundation survey, toothbrush holders rank third among the dirtiest home items, with your dish sponge and kitchen sink taking the first and second spots. You can wash it using hot, soapy water and a disinfecting wipe, or run it through the dishwasher.
From childhood through adulthood, you can maintain the health of your teeth and gums by practicing proper dental hygiene. By incorporating these detailed dental care tips into your routine, your oral hygiene will significantly improve, and you soon won’t need those composite dental fillings. You’ll have a smile that’ll make you forget why you were even considering visiting a face lift doctor.