Brushing and flossing, along with regular dental checkups, are the key to a successful oral health care routine. To best maintain your oral health and help keep your teeth and gums disease-free, follow the steps outlined by our Toronto dentists below.
Brushing your teeth is probably the most important thing you can do every day to maintain your oral health. Brush your teeth two or three times a day, for two minutes at a time.
For ideal results, brush each “quadrant” of your teeth (upper right, upper left, lower right, lower left) for 30 seconds. Carefully brush all the exposed surfaces of your teeth, including the fronts, backs, and biting surfaces, of each tooth.
Tip: Try an Electric Toothbrush
An electric toothbrush makes it easier to clean your teeth. They require less effort than manual brushes since they perform the correct brushing movement for you. Choose an electric toothbrush with a round, rotating head, as this makes the ideal circular brushing motion.
In addition, because the head is quite small, it’s easier to clean those awkward, hard-to-reach spots, like your back molars, and the backs of your front teeth.
You should floss at least once a day, preferably at night before you brush your teeth for the evening. Flossing dislodges food debris and build-up from between your teeth, in the places your toothbrush can’t reach.
Insert the floss between two teeth and run it up and down the side of each, pulling it into a “c” shape in both directions. Proceed slowly and thoroughly, and be sure to floss between all of your teeth.
Professional Dental Cleanings & Check-ups
To supplement your at-home routine, you should visit your dentist every six months for a dental cleaning and check-up.
Your dental team has the expertise and tools required to remove plaque and tartar build-up that you can't remove yourself with brushing and flossing.
Your dentist will also be able to identify dental problems in the beginning stages if they see you often enough, and treat them before they become a more severe issue. Oral health problems like cavities, gum disease, and even tumours or cysts are often not noticeable to the untrained eye in their early stages, so it's important to get your mouth evaluated regularly by a dental professional.
Eating a healthy diet that’s rich in calcium helps keep your teeth healthy from the inside out. You should also limit your consumption of sticky, sugary treats as oral bacteria thrive on these. When you do enjoy a sweet treat, be sure to brush as soon as possible afterward.
Staying hydrated can help prevent cavities! Drinking plenty of water will help you maintain a sufficient saliva flow, and saliva washes away the food particles that collect on your teeth and allow bacteria to multiply.
Supplementary Hygiene Aids
Oral hygiene aids are additions to your brushing and flossing routine. Good examples of supplementary hygiene aids include tongue cleaners, mouthwash, interdental cleaners, and oral irrigators.
These aids can help you keep your breath fresh, and prevent plaque from building up between brushing and flossing sessions. While they are not sufficient replacements for a thorough brushing and flossing routine, they can definitely help improve it.