We talk about it all the time, and sometimes you find yourself hearing the same lines over and over again. “Brush your teeth; oral hygiene is easy; flossing is really important, too!” But somehow, setting the routine and making the habit for good oral hygiene continues to be hard for most of us.
Oral hygiene doesn’t have to be complicated, even if the reasons behind our “inability” to make the habit leaves us puzzled. Brushing your teeth twice a day is what you’ve always heard, but it’s not enough—especially with most diets today.
Take a look at this snapshot oral hygiene guide for a few reminders about what’s important, and why.
- Treat yourself to a high-quality toothbrush
Toothbrush bristles come in all shapes and sizes, not to mention “hard,” “medium,” and “soft.” You can choose between classic manual toothbrushes and electric options, too. And once we start talking about gum massagers and tongue scrapers built into the toothbrush, things really start to get fancy.
The important thing is that you use your toothbrush, no matter the shape it comes in. Invest in the toothbrush you like, even if it’s just the funny rubber gum massagers that you like the feel of when you brush.
- Flossing really is the big deal we make it out to beFlossing seems tedious, and some folks with sensitive gums even find it disagreeable. But your dentist has said it before, and you’ll hear it countless times again—flossing is one of the biggest components of your oral health. Even the most diligent and detail-oriented tooth brushers will miss some spots, and have food or tartar stuck between teeth that a brush won’t get. Flossing before you brush is doubly beneficial, as it frees up bits of food that you can then more easily brush away.
- Use mouthwashMouthwash leaves you with a pleasant sensation (not to mention more pleasant breath), but it does more than that for your oral health. Mouthwash with fluoride helps prevent decay, and other ingredients like cetylpyridinium chloride can help with sensitive gums. Using mouthwash also stimulates saliva production, which helps flush bacteria from your mouth, balance pH, and keep bad breath at bay.
- Sodas and tobacco—enemy number one of your oral healthSmoking and soda consumption are not only bad for your teeth, but for your overall oral health (not to mention other systems in your body). Each of these affects the natural pH in your mouth, corrodes your teeth, and leaves your whole mouth more susceptible to unattractive, uncomfortable, and dangerous side effects.
Quitting either of these is no small task. But even a snapshot oral health guide wouldn’t be complete without reiterating how detrimental tobacco and sodas are for you.
- Regular checkups
At least once every six months, schedule a routine check-up at your dentist’s office. Getting your teeth professionally cleaned is reason enough to go, but your dentist can also detect issues before they develop into full-scale decay or disease.
Creating new or improved routines can be tough. But the beauty is that, once established, it’s easy to follow the momentum. Take care of your teeth, and keep these tips top-of-mind. When we see you next, we want you to smile big and feel confident doing it!