The Basics: Establishing a Healthy Routine
It’s a no-brainer that you should brush your teeth regularly. A healthy routine doesn’t stop there though– even when you brush your teeth twice a day, you may still be practicing poor dental habits.
It’s important to remember that oral care is a preventative practice. By maintaining healthy oral hygiene practices, you’re able to stop common problems like cavities, gum disease, bad breath, and gingivitis before they even start. These issues can be difficult to treat and can come with painful side effects that often require professional treatment to alleviate.
Brush your teeth at least twice a day, every day.
Dentists suggest a 2-minute brushing period paired with a good toothpaste to thoroughly clean your teeth and remove food debris, plaque, and bacteria. Fluoride toothpaste is a great way to strengthen your enamel, which in turn slows the growth of plaque and bacteria. When brushing your teeth, spend 30 seconds in each quadrant of your mouth and make sure to get all sides of your teeth. Brushing your tongue at the same time will also help to eliminate bacteria that can cause bad breath.
Floss once daily
Although brushing your teeth wipes away most debris, the spaces in between your teeth still need additional cleaning. Whether you’re using traditional floss or floss picks, it’s important to be gentle with your gums to prevent inflammation or bleeding. Keep in mind that bacteria and plaque under the gumline can also cause inflammation, and loosening this is often the cause of bleeding gums.
Avoid smoking and tobacco products
Smoking and tobacco use are the leading causes of complications like periodontal disease and oral cancer. While limiting your use can be beneficial, it’s best to avoid them altogether.
Be conscious of your eating & drinking habits
When we enjoy a sweet treat, so does the bacteria in our mouth. The sugar acts as a food for the bacteria in plaque, and the waste produced is the acid that begins to break down enamels. When eating sugary foods or candies, rinse your mouth out with water immediately after and try to brush your teeth after 30-60 minutes. When drinking acidic beverages like coffee or soda, sipping your drink over an extended period of time can be harmful to your enamel, too. If you can’t finish your drink in a short timespan, try to pair it with water after each sip to help wash away the acidic film.
Schedule cleanings regularly
Visiting your dentist every six months is highly recommended. While maintaining your teeth at home is essential, dentists are able to provide a deeper clean and can help to catch early signs of any cavities, diseases, or infections.