Having healthy teeth is essential for oral health and overall wellbeing. Unfortunately, many people don’t follow proper dental hygiene habits that could prevent oral health problems. If you want to keep your teeth healthy, here are 11 best practices that you should follow. Read on to learn more!
1. Brush Properly
Proper oral hygiene starts with brushing your teeth twice every day using a soft-bristled toothbrush and fluoride toothpaste. Brushing removes plaque, bacteria, and other debris from the surfaces of your teeth so they stay clean and healthy. When brushing your teeth, make sure to brush all surfaces of each tooth – front and back – in circular motions for two minutes each time.
2. Floss Regularly
Flossing helps to get rid of plaque and food particles between the teeth that are not reached by brushing alone. Floss at least once daily to ensure proper oral hygiene and reduce risk of cavities and gum disease. When flossing, use a clean piece each time to avoid spreading bacteria or plaque from one tooth to another.
3. Use Mouthwash
Mouthwash helps to reduce oral bacteria and keep your mouth fresh and clean. Choose an over-the-counter mouthwash with fluoride for added protection against cavities, or ask your dentist if a prescription rinse would be best for you. For optimal oral health, it’s recommended that you rinse with mouthwash at least twice each day.
4. Avoid Sugary Foods and Drinks
Sugary foods and drinks contribute to oral health problems, including cavities. Reduce your intake of sugary snacks, sodas, energy drinks, and other sweetened beverages if you want to keep your teeth healthy. If you do eat sugary foods or drink sweetened beverages, be sure to brush your teeth afterwards for added protection against oral health issues.
5. Chew Sugar-Free Gum
Chewing sugar-free gum after meals can help increase saliva production in the mouth which helps reduce bad breath and wash away oral bacteria that can cause oral health issues. When choosing a type of gum, make sure it’s sugar-free to avoid oral health problems.
6. Keep Stress Levels Low
Stress can cause a variety of oral health issues, including bruxism (teeth grinding) and dry mouth. To reduce stress levels, try participating in activities that make you feel relaxed such as yoga, meditation or massage therapy. If you’re feeling overwhelmed, talking with a therapist or doctor can also help manage your stress levels.
7. Quit Smoking
Smoking is known to increase the risk of oral health problems like gum disease and oral cancer. Quitting smoking will not only improve oral health but will also have positive effects on overall well-being. Seek assistance from your doctor if quitting smoking is something you’re struggling with.
8. Eat a Healthy Diet
Eating foods that are high in vitamins and minerals, such as fruits, vegetables, and whole grains, can help keep oral health in check. Eating foods that contain essential nutrients will also strengthen the immune system, which can help fight off oral bacteria. Avoid eating processed and sugary foods to reduce the risk of oral health issues.
9. Visit Your Dentist Regularly
Visiting your dentist regularly for professional cleanings and checkups can help catch oral health problems before they become more serious. The American Dental Association recommends visiting your dentist at least twice per year for healthy teeth and gums, but some people may need to go more often depending on their oral hygiene needs.
10. Use Fluoride Treatments
Fluoride treatments help to strengthen tooth enamel and reduce risk of oral health issues such as cavities. Ask your dentist if fluoride treatments are right for you, and follow their instructions on how often to use them for best results.
11. Wear a Mouthguard While Playing Sports
Wearing a mouthguard while playing contact sports can help protect oral health by reducing the chances of oral trauma caused by physical contact or falls. Custom-made mouthguards are typically recommended, but those that can be purchased at sporting goods stores offer some protection as well.
Maintaining good oral hygiene is essential for overall health and well-being, so it’s important to develop healthy oral habits that will keep your teeth and gums healthy for years to come. Following the 11 best practices for oral health listed above can go a long way in protecting oral health and preventing problems from developing in the first place.
It’s recommended that you visit your dentist at least twice per year for professional cleanings and checkups, but some people may need more frequent visits depending on their oral hygiene needs.
Yes, using an over-the-counter mouthwash with fluoride can help reduce oral bacteria and protect against cavities. Rinsing with mouthwash after brushing and flossing can also help keep oral bacteria levels low.
Eating a healthy diet that’s rich in vitamins and minerals such as fruits, vegetables and whole grains can help maintain oral health. Avoid eating sugary and processed foods to reduce risk of oral health problems.