Dental hygiene, we have all heard of it, but we rarely prioritize it in our daily routine. Proper brushing and flossing can prevent most of the dental complaints orthodontists have to deal with regularly.
Keeping your teeth and gums clean can improve your overall health too. Merely brushing twice a day and flossing once is not enough, says the leading dental expert at Coral Gables dentistry, Miami. You need to do more. Here’s a list you should follow for protecting your oral health –
1. Use the right equipment
The toothbrush of your choice, quality of toothpaste and mouthwash, everything will influence your oral health. You may believe that a hard toothbrush can drive away from the hidden food particles and plaque from your teeth and gums, but hard bristles can cause bleeding and further exacerbate existing infections and inflammations.
Always opt for fluoride toothpaste and soft-bristled toothbrushes. If you are not using an electronic toothbrush, you should consider using one for better cleaning. Research shows that electric toothbrushes can reach the crevices and clean out plaque that can cause gingivitis. These toothbrushes are especially useful if you have arthritis or mobility problems in your fingers.
2. Adopt good techniques
Remember the poem from our playschool days that told us how to brush? Well, dentists stand by the brushing method. If you have forgotten how it goes, it is probably time to brush up your brushing skills.
Hold the toothbrush at a 30-degree angle (to the horizontal plane) and aim the bristles at the region where your gum meets the teeth. It will provide access to the bristles and allow them to pull out stuck food debris and plaque. Proper brushing technique can prevent tartar buildup. Remember to brush for two minutes and don’t omit your tongue.
3. Clean your brushing equipment
Remember to throw away floss after use. Wash your brush under running water and store it upright for air-drying. Not rinsing your toothbrush will make it a hothouse of bacteria that can attack your gums when you use it again.
Although all of us feel tempted to store our toothbrushes in closed containers, try to keep them upright, away from other toothbrushes, but open inside your medicine cabinet. Keeping it sealed can encourage the growth of mold, bacteria, and fungi. Dispose of toothbrushes or change the head of electric toothbrushes every 3 to 4 months.
On the other hand, keep your nylon filament floss in a tight container or packaging. Disposable flosses are a smart choice if you have young kids in the house. You can also try a water flosser, dental pick, or silicone-wedge plaque remover in place of a nylon floss. Water flossers are the least risky gadget for cleaning out the plaque for adults, and a smart investment towards dental health.
Your dental hygiene practices not only affect your oral health but also influence your digestion and cardiovascular health. Keeping your teeth and gums clean can help prevent tons of localized and systemic infections.