Maintaining good mouth health often seems as simple as brushing twice a day, flossing here and there and visiting your dentist regularly, but there’s actually more to it than that. From what you eat to which toothpaste you choose, there are many factors that play into the overall health of your mouth. Read on as we share all the things you can do to help stay on top of keeping your mouth in top shape!
Tips for maintaining mouth health
1. Brush twice, floss once daily
We’ve all been told countless times by our dentist to brush our teeth twice a day, but they don’t often get into the nitty gritty of WHEN to brush them. Giving your teeth a good scrub first thing in the morning seems natural to get off all the gunk from a long night with no saliva movement.
The second time you brush should be right before you go to bed. This helps to get rid of any bacteria and plaque that has built up throughout the day, and send your teeth to bed without any debris that could irritate your gums or cause plaque to form.
It goes without saying that flossing is a must and virtually all dentists recommend it (don’t let fancy mouth rinse commercials tell you otherwise). However, using mouthwash once daily is also a recommendation.
At Reflections Dental Oakville, our dentists recommend all patients brush 2 times per day plus flossing and rinsing with mouthwash once daily.
2. Choose the right toothbrush
Though a firmer toothbrush might seem like it will clean your teeth better, that’s actually not accurate. Bristles that are too firm can aggravate your gums so a toothbrush with soft bristles is actually better. Your toothbrush should be replaced every 2-3 months.
You can also consider switching over to an electric toothbrush. Since these toothbrushes do the actual moving of the brush for you, they can remove much more plaque and debris from your teeth keeping them cleaner.
3. Choose a toothpaste with fluoride
When choosing a toothpaste there are so many options it can be hard to pick just one. With each offering a combination of whitening, sensitivity reduction and cavity production, the purchase can be a confusing one. But when it comes down to it, there is one ingredient that you should look for, regardless of what additional effects you want: fluoride. Fluoride helps to create a protective barrier on your teeth that can prevent the creation of cavities and tooth decay.
4. Drink water, not pop
The acids present in pop eat away at the enamel (or surface) of your teeth which can soften your teeth and cause cavities. Water, on the other hand, will help wash out any debris or left-over sugars on your teeth. It also helps maintain saliva levels in your mouth, which is necessary to help keep your mouth clean and healthy.
5. Eat well
Limit the consumption of sugary, high acid foods like candy, pop, coffee and fruits. These can all work to erode your tooth enamel and cause cavities. Opt instead for things like fibrous, crunchy fruits and vegetables. These foods actually help to scrub debris and plaque off of your teeth as you eat them and can help improve their overall strength.
6. Nix the nicotine
Smoking can cause damage to your teeth and gums. Not only can it turn your teeth yellow, it creates an environment for bacteria and plaque to thrive. This can break down the tissue of your gums, reduce the strength of your teeth and even lead to the loss of teeth. Tobacco use also increases your chances of mouth and lung cancer.
7. Visit your dentist regularly
Making regular appointments to see your dentist is the best way to stay on top of your mouth health. At your twice-yearly appointment your dentist can remove any built-up plaque and keep a look out for any cavities on your teeth. They’ll also be able to help you catch any problems like gum disease, tooth decay and mouth cancer before it gets to far, and offer treatment solutions.
Mouth health is about more than brushing
Maintaining good mouth health takes more than just a good brushing schedule and regular dentist visits. Everything you eat, drink and put in your mouth plays a role in keeping your teeth as healthy as they can be. Choosing the right toothbrush and toothpaste and using them at least twice a day are great ways to maintain healthy teeth. Regular visits to your dentist will help ensure you are doing everything you can to keep your teeth in top form!