It is likely that you have heard about the importance of good oral hygiene for many years. However, do you really know what entails? Having good oral hygiene helps to ensure that your teeth and mouth look, feel, and smell healthy. Proper oral hygiene habits help to assure that your teeth are clean and free of debris, your gums are pink and do not bleed, and you do not suffer from constant bad breath. Since having good oral hygiene is so important, it is essential that you follow these five guidelines to make that happen.
Of course, brushing every day is important. You need to brush your teeth at least two times every day. Brush your teeth thoroughly and make sure you reach all of your teeth. Choose a toothpaste that contains fluoride and use the proper brushing technique for the best results. To achieve the right technique, put your brush at a 45º angle against your gumline and use a sweeping or rolling motion that moves away from the gums. Make sure you brush both the inside, outside and chewing surfaces of your teeth using short front and back strokes. Finally, brush your tongue to remove bacteria and freshen your breath.
Flossing is as important, if not more important, as brushing. Flossing once a day goes a long way in preventing oral health problems before they start. It will also help repair problems that are developing. Spending an extra few moments a day flossing your teeth is far less expensive and painful than dealing with problems that have progressed to major issues. As with brushing, proper technique is important when flossing your teeth. You should use a strand that is about 18 inches long. This length allows you enough of a strand to use as a guide and support around your fingers, leaving you with about an inch or two to use. Floss your teeth by following the natural curve of your teeth. Be sure to clean beneath the gumline, but be careful to not snap the floss against your gums.
This is a step that many people miss when taking care of their teeth. However, it is important to perform an oral rinse every day. You need to make smart decisions about which rinse to use, as they are not all created equal. Before you make your purchase, take a few moments to look at the label. Make sure the oral rinse you choose contains fluoride to keep your teeth healthy as well chlorine dioxide, which helps to kill the bad bacteria in your mouth.
Visit your Dentist
This seems like a no-brainer. But, many people only go to the dentist when they detect a problem that needs to be fixed. Unfortunately, the result can be painful, time-consuming, and expensive procedures that could have been avoided by having regular check-ups. You should have an oral check-up two times a year. It should involve a full hygiene treatment and periodic x-rays. Visiting your dentist can have other benefits as well. Your dentist can detect small issues before they become big problems and can also help you look at the bigger picture of your health. Often tooth pain and other problems can be indicative of bigger health problems such as diabetes, heart disease, systemic infections, and other issues.
Eat the Right Foods
Having a balanced diet is also crucial to keeping your mouth and teeth healthy. Specific vitamins and nutrients are important in helping to maintain good oral hygiene.
- Calcium and vitamin D help to maintain strong teeth and gums
- Vitamin B helps to keep teeth and gums from cracking and bleeding
- Copper, zinc, iodine, iron, and potassium are important for maintaining general good oral health
Although you can take supplements to increase the levels of these nutrients in your body, it is better to get them from natural food sources. Some good foods to have in your diet include:
- Leafy vegetables
- Black and green teas
- Sesame seeds
- Shiitake mushrooms
As you can see, you have lots of great food options from which to choose to help maintain your oral health.
It is important to always practice good oral hygiene habits. When you practice good oral hygiene habits, you protect yourself from many maladies such as bad breath and gum disease. It can even help detect oral cancers at an earlier stage. There are so many benefits that are derived from practicing good hygiene, there is no reason not to do it. Even if you are not currently following the above regimen, it is never too late to start.