Your smile is the first thing people see when they greet you, but poor oral hygiene can keep your smile from looking its best. It can also lead to a variety of dental issues, including infection, gum disease, heart disease, bone loss, strokes and other conditions. To keep your teeth white, bright and healthy, follow these top 5 tips for optimal dental hygiene.
1. Floss Daily
Let’s face it – flossing can be a chore. This is the one thing that most of us forget to do after brushing, but it’s also one of the most important things you can do to protect your dental health.
Flossing removes particles in between your teeth that your toothbrush cannot reach. Dentists recommend that you floss at least once a day, but ideally, you want to floss after every brushing.
2. Limit Your Intake of Sugar and Alcohol
Can’t function without your morning cup of coffee? Learning how to live without your morning jolt of caffeine can help protect your oral health. Sodas, coffee, and alcohol often contain high levels of phosphorus that can deplete your body of calcium. They could also lead to other dental issues, such as gum disease and tooth decay.
Sugary drinks can also dull and discolor teeth. The bacteria in your mouth thrive on sugar, and break it down into acid, which wears away the enamel of your teeth.
Rather than drinking these beverages, opt for a glass of water or milk. Water will keep your body hydrated and milk will help strengthen your teeth.
3. Visit Your Dentist Regularly
The best way to avoid dental issues is to prevent them from happening in the first place. Visiting your dentist at least twice a year will ensure that potential dental issues are detected early on. Ideally, you also want to have full hygiene treatments performed with each visit.
And if you don’t like visiting the dentist, consider finding a new one that you feel comfortable with. Missing your yearly appointments can lead to dental issues in the future.
4. Clean Your Tongue
How often do you clean your tongue? If you’re not doing it daily, you’re leaving behind bacteria that can lead to tooth decay and gum disease. Dentists recommend cleaning the surface of your tongue every day with a professional tongue cleaner.
Keeping your tongue clean will also help prevent bad breath, which can also have a negative effect on your dental health.
5. Brush Properly
To prevent plaque buildup, it’s important to learn how to brush properly. Keep your brush at a 45° angle against your gums, and move the brush in a back-and-forth motion using short strokes.
Make sure that you not only brush the outer surface of your teeth, but the inner surface and the chewing surface of your teeth as well. The tip of the brush can be used to clean the inside surfaces of the front teeth using an up-and-down stroke.
Don’t forget to brush your tongue to get rid of any remaining bacteria and freshen your breath before you finish.
Follow these tips to keep your teeth and gums healthy and clean.