The Essentials for Good Oral Health
In recent years, the public’s increased awareness about the importance of oral health has led to more visits to the dentist and hygienist, which has considerably reduced the typical number of cavities and dental repairs that we tend to see. Here, we’ve identified some of the essentials to keep in mind in order to foster good oral health!
1. Brushing – Brushing your teeth twice a day, in the mornings and before bed, helps to remove plaque before it hardens. Brushing also stimulates your gums and helps to prevent gum disease. Keeping the toothbrush at a 45 degree angle will aid in brushing along the gum line on both sides of the teeth, as well the chewing surfaces. We recommend using a toothpaste which contains fluoride — though if your teeth are sensitive to hot and cold, you might want to try a toothpaste specifically designed for sensitive teeth.
2. Flossing – Flossing helps remove plaque from between the teeth and below the gumline where brushing often can’t reach. Brushing and flossing your teeth daily is the number one combo to keep you teeth and gums healthy!
3. Rinsing – Studies have shown that rinsing with mouthwash helps to reduce the bacteria in your mouth, and is a great supplement to regular brushing and flossing. We recommend buying alcohol-free mouthwash, and have also found that mouthwash which contains fluoride can be beneficial for both smokers and those with chronic dry mouth.
4. Dental Cleanings and Dental Checkups – Regular hygiene appointments and dental checkups are a very important part of maintaining your oral health. Seeing a hygienist every 6 months for regular cleanings will help prevent infection of the gums, periodontal disease, bone loss, and cavities. Having a complete exam by your dentist once a year will also detect any small problems before they progress even further.
5. Diet for Oral Health – Changes begin occurring in your mouth the moment you eat certain foods. Bacteria can change sugars into acid and, if you’re not vigilant, the decaying process will begin. Foods like hard candy and cookies contain high sugar content, feeding the acids in your mouth, while others like french fries and potato chips can stick to the teeth and work to soften your enamel. Try to avoid eating too much junk food, while instead reaching for foods that support your teeth. For example, nuts, cheese, milk, and certain meats are actually beneficial for teeth, providing calcium and phosphorous to help strengthen the enamel!