Everyone wants to have a perfect smile, but many don’t realize the key is simply to ensure that your teeth and gums are always healthy and clean. The best way to achieve this is to always observe good oral hygiene by following these tips from a dentist:
Use the Right Toothbrush
To clean your teeth and gums thoroughly and effectively you need the right type of toothbrush. According to the Oral Health Foundation, an adult should use a toothbrush with a small to medium size brush head. Ideally, it should be small enough to reach all the parts of your mouth, especially the back part. Generally, toothbrushes with smaller heads are also recommended if you have irregular crooked teeth.
Furthermore, the toothbrush’s bristles or filaments should be soft to medium in hardness, multi-tufted, and round-ended. If you have sensitive teeth, softer bristles are definitely recommended for you.
Certain conditions can also make it hard for you to brush your teeth properly. These include dealing with illnesses like Parkinson’s disease or suffering from any form of physical disability. In these cases, you may prefer to go with toothbrushes with relatively large handles and angled heads for easier use.
A power or electric toothbrush is also great to use if you have limited movement. These toothbrushes are fitted with heads that can oscillate, pulsate or rotate, managing to clean your teeth thoroughly without moving your hand too much.
Brush Your Teeth Properly and Regularly
Regular brushing is key to keeping teeth clean and healthy. According to the American Dental Association, you should brush your teeth twice a day.
Proper brushing typically takes two minutes. To start, place your toothbrush at a 45-degree angle to your gums and then gently move your toothbrush back and forth in short strokes. Afterwards, brush your teeth’s outer surface, inner surfaces and chewing surfaces.
Make It a Habit to Floss
Aside from brushing your teeth, you also have to floss your teeth regularly and properly. You have to reach all areas between your teeth to be able to remove all of the germs stuck there.
That is why it is recommended for your floss to be around 18 inches in length. This allows you to have a fresh area of floss to use with every few tooth. This prevents any bacteria and food particless you have just removed being reinserted between your teeth again.
When you floss, always make sure the floss rubs against your teeth in a forward or backward ‘C’ shape motion. Wrap the floss around each of your teeth well to get all the food particles out.
Always Use a Mouthwash
After brushing and flossing your teeth, it’s best to follow up your oral care regimen with a mouthwash. A mouthwash can help remove debris that had been left in your teeth and gums and kill off germs.
Generally, there are three types of mouthwash that you would find in the market. These are plaque-inhibiting, preventive and antiseptic. Antiseptic mouthwashes contain chlorhexidine. This ingredient allows the mouthwash to effectively treat and fight off any fungi and spots of bacteria in the mouth. This type of mouthwash is recommended for use immediately following oral surgery where brushing can become difficult.
Plaque-inhibiting mouthwashes contain various active ingredients such as antimicrobials and other agents that keep bacteria from adhering to your tooth surfaces. They are great at controlling the progression or onset of gum disease and even help reduce tooth decay.
Lastly, preventive mouthwashes are commonly formulated with fluoride which help prevent tooth decay. Experts recommend people eight years old and above to use a fluoride mouthwash or mouth rinse regularly.
Just follow these tips and your teeth should stay white and clean for a long time. Aside from these, be sure to schedule a regular visit with your dentist too. This way the dentist can help you maintain a healthy set of teeth and gums.
Question from practice: How to select the right mouthwash, pharmaceutical-journal.com
Caring for Teeth › Oral care products, dentalhealth.org
Caring for Teeth › Caring for my teeth, dentalhealth.org
Ten Dental Hygiene Tips For A More Thorough Clean, colgate.com