11 Proven Ways to Maintain Great Oral Health
Boost your oral health IQ with these proven oral hygiene tips from CG Smile in Miami. For personalized dental care and advice, book an appointment today!
1. Brush your teeth before going to bed. Always.
For most, brushing teeth twice a day is recommended. Although, for some strange reason, there are some that only brush their teeth once in the morning. Removing bacteria from your teeth and gums before you go to bed is important since saliva (the natural chemicals that naturally cleanses the mouth) all but stops while you sleep. Minimally, brush once you wake up and again before you head off to bed.
2. Use proper brushing techniques.
Yes, there is a proper way to hold your toothbrush as you brush your teeth. The bristles should meet the gumline at a 45-degree angle to allow the bristles to reach slightly under the gums. Brushing a circular motion will help dislodge and remove plaque. Be sure to brush for at least two minutes at a time.
3. Floss regularly.
The American Dental Association (ADA) recommends flossing with traditional fluoride floss or an interdental cleaner at least once per day. The Journal of Periodontology has found that flossing before you brush may be the best way to remove dental plaque. Be sure to floss between teeth and below the gumline!
4. Choose a toothpaste with fluoride.
Before fluoride toothpastes, Americans were experiencing 700 million cavities per year — that is roughly five cavities per person, based on the population of the country at the time. Today, only 31% of adults have untreated cavities.
5. Attend regular dental checkups.
Visiting the dentist isn’t just about keeping teeth clean and watching out for cavities. Dental checkups are a key part of monitoring your oral health and can help detect cancers of the head, neck, and mouth. Most patients are recommended to visit the dentist every six months. Ask your dentist for a personalized checkup frequency.
6. Stay away from tobacco products and limit alcohol intake.
Tobacco doesn’t just stain teeth and make breath foul. Cigarettes and chewing tobacco cause teeth to wear down more quickly and the tar present in tobacco greatly increases the levels of bacteria in the mouth. Alcohol is detrimental to oral health and has been linked to increased rates of halitosis (bad breath), oral cancers, periodontal disease, staining, and other complications.
7. Understand how health and dental conditions go hand in hand.
Those with diabetes should be more diligent in terms of their oral health. The medications can cause dry mouth, which can increase the likelihood of developing plaque, gum disease, periodontal disease, and yeast infections of the mouth and throat.
8. Know the warning signs.
If you notice a change in the sensitivity of your teeth and gums, schedule a dental checkup as soon as possible. Oral health conditions may also alter your senses of taste and smell. So, know the warning signs and consult a dentist if you notice a change.
9. Choose healthy foods and drinks.
The University of Illinois at Chicago College of Dentistry has a great write-up on what foods and drinks can help improve oral health. These include a healthy mix of dairy products, water, crunchy vegetables, leafy greens, nuts, fruits, and fatty fish.
10. Don’t forget the tongue!
Keeping the tongue clean is one of the most overlooked aspects of maintaining oral health. Invest in a tongue scraper or tongue brush to remove bacteria from the tongue before you rinse out your mouth.
11. Limit your intake of sugary foods.
The bacteria in your mouth love simple sugars and carbohydrates. When they consume these sugars, they excrete acidic substances that stick to the teeth, which in turn become plaque and tartar.
Plan for a Great Smile
Comprehensive dental exams allow dentist to gather all the information necessary to develop a long-term treatment plan. Ensure a future of beautiful, healthy smiles — schedule a comprehensive dental exam, today!