How to Achieve Good Oral Hygiene
Good oral hygiene is more than a quick brushing and rinsing in the morning. Good oral hygiene is more than an occasional visit to the dentist. Good oral hygiene is a joint venture between your at-home, daily, dental care routine and your dentist. While there is no secret to achieving good oral hygiene, there are ways to ensure that your at-home dental routine works to prevent tooth decay and gum disease while promoting good oral health. Here are some tips on how to achieve good oral hygiene:
- Dental Products: Always use dental care products that display the American Dental Association seal (ADA) of approval. This means that the toothpaste, toothbrush, tongue cleaner, dental floss, and mouth rinse have been tested and found to be safe for oral hygiene routines. Also, follow the recommended replacement times for toothbrushes and tongue cleaners as the will lose their effectiveness over time.
- Brushing: Ideally, you brush your teeth twice a day. Brush in the morning to remove any bacteria or plaque buildup that developed while you are sleeping and your saliva glands are resting. Brush in the evening to remove any bacteria, debris, and plaque that developed during the day. Not all toothpastes are the same, some target plaque removal, and others aim to prevent gum disease or teeth whitening. Ask your dentist to recommend the best toothpaste for your personal hygiene situation. You also want to use a toothbrush that does not irritate your gums. This means that a soft bristled brush may be good for any sensitivity while a hard bristled brush may cause gum bleeding. Always ask your dentist to recommend the right bristle strength for your mouth.
Brush your teeth for a full two minutes. It may help to break the time up into four, 30 second segments that will cover the upper front, the upper back, the lower front, and the lower back of your teeth, including the chewing surfaces of the teeth. Rinse with cold water before the next step.
- Flossing: There are two methods for flossing. One is to use the traditional flossing thread, to floss between and around each tooth by hand, and be sure to reach below the gum line of each tooth to dislodge any debris not removed by brushing. Use a floss threader to get the floss between hard to reach areas such as dental implants, bridges, or braces. Because of any bacteria or debris remaining on the floss, always dispose of the used floss. The other method is to use a good, highly rated, electric water flossing machine. Ask your dentist to recommend an electric water for your personal hygiene requirements. Just like brushing, you will want to floss your teeth twice a day. If you use an electric flosser, use the appropriate water power level and application procedure recommended for each flossing appliance that comes with the machine. The two minute rule also applies to water flossing machines, spending 30 seconds each on the upper front, upper back, lower front, and lower back spaces between your teeth at the gum lines.
- Rinsing: There are several categories of mouth rinses. There are those with fluoride promote enamel strengthening, those with superficial benefits that give your breath a pleasant smell which don’t address any real dental advantage, and those with ingredients that promote the prevention of plaque, cavities, and gingivitis. If you have a known oral health concern, your dentist may prescribe a stronger mouth rinse. Whichever form of mouth rinse that you select, rinse your entire oral cavity with the fluid for one full minute after flossing.
- Tongue Cleaning: The rough surface of your tongue is an ideal place where bacteria can hide and contribute to bad breath. The final step in your at home oral hygiene routine is to clean your tongue with a tongue cleaner. The best technique for using this dental tool is to rinse it after every swipe of your tongue. This one small step is a great way to freshen your breath and help to prevent a dry mouth.
- Dental Visits: The one-two punch to achieving good oral hygiene is to visit your dentist at least twice a year, or more often if needed, for a dental examination and cleaning. It is during these visits that any plague or tartar that you were not able to see or reach at home will be professionally removed. During these visits, the dentist will examine your teeth for any signs of tooth decay or cavities, he will inspect your gums for any signs of gingivitis, and he will check the status of your jawbones to see if there is any bone loss.
To schedule your next dental examination and cleaning, fill out the appointment request form listed under the Contact Us page, or call the Smile Angels of Beverly Hills directly at 310-201-9001.