Achieving and maintaining a perfect smile requires a bit of work on your part. Keeping up with oral care at home is vital, but you’ll also need to make regular visits to professional dentists and orthodontists. Here are a few tips that’ll help you keep your teeth and gums healthy for years to come.
1. Brush Regularly and Brush Right
Most people already know that dental experts suggest brushing your teeth twice a day – once in the morning, and once before bed. But it’s not enough to simply scrub your teeth for a few seconds and rinse your mouth out. Brush for at least two minutes during each session. Use a timer if you have trouble keeping track of time.
Brush using circular up and down motions, and don’t scrub too hard. Remember to get the back of your teeth as well as the front. Swap out your old toothbrush about every three to four months. If the brush becomes frayed, it won’t be as effective.
2. Become an Expert at Flossing
Don’t skip out on a flossing routine. Flossing removes plaque that forms in places your toothbrush can’t reach. Position the floss in a C-shape around each tooth before you begin moving it back and forth. The most important thing is that you do both tasks as thoroughly as you can.
Why the need to be so thorough? If you don’t remove the plaque within a few days, it’ll combine with minerals in your saliva and turn into tartar. This substance is much harder to remove than plaque – in fact, you’ll need to rely on a dentist to scrape it off because it binds to the enamel.
3. Manage Bacteria Throughout Your Mouth
Even after you’ve cleaned your teeth and gum line, you’ll still need to clean other parts of your mouth. Use a tongue scraper to reduce bacteria on your tongue. Mouthwash is also useful for killing bacteria and washing away any debris you missed while brushing and flossing.
When it comes to keeping bacteria at bay, your saliva itself serves as a natural defense. With that in mind, you’ll want to do whatever you can to avoid dry mouth. Keep a bottle of water with you throughout the day to stay hydrated.
4. Drop the Bad Habits
Avoid sugary drinks whenever you can. When you do have a sweetened drink, use a straw. This will decrease the amount of sugar that ends up on your teeth. If you want to be extra cautious, take a few sips of water after consuming a surgery drink or food. This can help rinse any remaining sugar away from your teeth and gumline.
Smoking and drinking alcohol can also have a negative effect on your oral health. For example, smoking tobacco can make it harder for your gums to heal and fight off infections. It also increases plaque buildup. Alcohol, on the other hand, can contribute to dry mouth and tends to have some sugar content.
Aim to drop these habits entirely. If you do, your overall health with improve.
5. Use Braces to Increase Oral Hygiene
Braces don’t just improve the look of your smile; they can also lead to overall better oral hygiene. Overcrowding can make it difficult for you to clean the surface of every tooth, even if you regularly floss and brush. Braces from professionals like those at Colorado Orthodontics will help move your teeth into alignment, so it’s easier for you to give them a thorough cleaning.
Braces are available in metal and ceramic, but you can also use Invisalign products to achieve the same results.
About The Author:
This article is written by Julia Schulte and she is a freelance health writer.