Oral hygiene involves more than just brushing and flossing your teeth each day. If you want to have optimal dental health, there is more you need to do to protect your teeth and gums. Here are our top 5 tips for how you can maintain your smile.
Good Oral Hygiene
When you have good oral hygiene, it means that you have a mouth that looks, smells, and feels healthy. Colgate explains that this means you have:
- Teeth that are free of debris
- Gum that are pink and do not hurt or bleed when you brush or floss
- Breath that is not consistently bad
5 Tips for Maintaining Oral Hygiene
Maintaining good oral hygiene is an essential part of self care. Not only do healthy teeth and gums allow you to feel and act more confident, but it is also what makes it possible for you to chew, eat, drink, and talk properly. Daily preventative care will help keep your mouth healthy and help you maintain your oral hygiene. Here are our top 5 tips for maintaining oral hygiene:
1. Brush your teeth four minutes per day
Don’t worry, this is not all done at one time. Rather, you should be brushing your teeth once in the morning and once at night — for two minutes each time. When you brush, you should place the toothbrush at a 45 degree angle towards your gums, gently going in circling motions cleaning the entire surface of each tooth. As you brush, be careful not to hit your gums directly as that could present injury to your gums.
2. Floss each day
Let’s face it, most people don’t floss each day like they should. However, there’s no better time than the present to start. Brushing your teeth alone can’t reach debris that gets lodged between the teeth in those small spaces. Although, when you floss, you’re able to reach those tight spaces between the teeth. When bacteria isn’t properly removed from between the teeth, it can cause acid to produce on your teeth and can eventually lead to gum disease, cavities, and more.
3. Brush your tongue
Did you know that your tongue can also develop plaque and bacteria? That’s right, bacteria doesn’t only affect the teeth and gums. If you’re not brushing your tongue gently each time you brush your teeth, you could be risking bad breath, oral yeast infections, and other dental health issues.
4. Limit certain foods
It’s been found that food and drinks, like sugary and acidic options, can contribute to oral health issues. When you indulge in these beverages, your enamel slowly begins to wear down overtime. Tooth erosion can occur, changing the appearance of your teeth and putting you at risk for bacteria that can cause cavities and infection. The American Dental Association (ADA) explains that it is best to limit the amount of these food and drinks you consume, even if they’re considered a healthy option. Healthy acidic options that could harm your teeth are items like tomatoes, citrus fruits, and sparkling water.
5. Visit your dentist twice a year
One of the best ways to catch any issues early, or prevent them altogether, is by visiting your dentist twice a year. Every six months, you should go to your dentist for a full, comprehensive exam and dental cleaning. You can’t see every area of your mouth with your own two eyes, which is why these appointments are important. Additionally, dentists like Dr. Niles are trained to look for potential issues and conditions that you may not be aware of or know the signs of.
Common Dental Issues
There are a number of dental issues that can happen to a person, however, some are more common than others. The ADA lists some of the most common dental health conditions that happen in patients are:
- Cavities: these can cause pain and tooth sensitivity.
- Teeth grinding: when you grind your teeth, you can experience toothaches, headaches, earaches, and jaw pain.
- Gingivitis: this is the earliest stage of gum disease, which is an infection in the gums that can cause them to become red, swollen, and bleed easily.
- Periodontitis: this is the more advanced stages of gum disease, which is one of the top reasons adults lose their teeth.
While these conditions are common, they can be prevented by maintaining good oral hygiene and visiting your dentist every six months.
Make an Appointment with Niles Family Dentistry
If you are ready to begin maintaining good oral health, come learn more about proper oral hygiene at Niles Family Dentistry. Our team is warm and friendly and are thoroughly trained to help you achieve a smile you’re proud of. Serving the families of Niwot, Longmont, and Boulder, make an appointment with us today: (720)-744-0001.