Preventive hygiene care, including brushing and flossing, and regular visits to your dental office, can help you maintain your oral health. Here, our Toronto dentists share their best oral hygiene tips.
Here are 10 things our Toronto dentists recommend you do in order to achieve and maintain your optimal oral health:
1. Brush twice a day, for at least two minutes.
For good oral hygiene, you will want to brush your teeth at least two times a day, ideally in the morning and before bed. You should aim to brush your teeth for two minutes each time. Start with your brush at a 45-degree angle in a sweeping motion. Brush your upper teeth using a sweeping downward motion, and your lower teeth using a sweeping upward motion. You should only brush back and forth on chewing surfaces.
2. Floss every night.
Flossing your teeth every night before you brush them not only helps remove debris but also minimizes the risk of tooth decay. It helps keep your gums healthy too. Use a piece of floss up to 18 inches long so you can use a fresh area of floss for every few teeth. Keep in mind the floss should rub against the teeth in a motion that creates a forward or backward 'C' shape, wrapping the floss around each tooth.
3. Rinse with mouthwash daily.
Adding mouthwash to your oral hygiene routine can help to kill the germs that can build up in your mouth. Because mouthwash can go where toothbrushes and floss can't, it can help to rid your mouth of debris that can irritate the gum line and lead to gum disease.
4. Brush or scrape your tongue daily.
After brushing your teeth, bacteria can still remain on the tongue. Brushing or scraping your tongue as part of your daily routine can help to get rid of this bacteria, and also helps to freshen your breath. Be sure to use one toothbrush for brushing, and a different toothbrush for scraping your tongue.
5. Visit the dentist regularly.
Visit the dentist, at least twice a year, for a dental examination and cleaning. Dentists and hygienists have tools and techniques to clean your teeth far more thoroughly than you can at home. Routine exams also allow your dentist to spot any emerging oral health issues so that they can be treated as soon as possible.
6. Don’t delay dental treatments.
Some people have anxiety that prevents them from getting dental treatments while others may avoid them because of a busy schedule or because they think it will be too costly. The truth is, getting regular dental checkups and dealing with oral health issues when they first begin can often save you a lot of time, money, and stress in the long run.
7. Make healthy food choices and minimize sugar.
The food you eat has an effect on your whole body, including your teeth. Aim to eat a balanced diet with lots of fresh fruit and vegetables. Calcium and Vitamin D, and Vitamin B complex are all essential to the protection and maintenance of healthy teeth and gums, so be sure to add foods to your diet that contain these vitamins.
You should also try to minimize your intake of refined sugars as these can increase the likelihood of plaque build-up and lead to cavities.
8. Limit pop, coffee, and alcohol.
Beverages containing additives such as corn syrup and food dye can make white teeth appear dull and discoloured. Try to limit these beverages and increase your water intake. Your whole body will thank you for staying hydrated!
9. Wear a mouth guard to protect your teeth.
If you play sports or other contact activities, it is recommended to wear a mouth guard to protect your teeth and gums from impact or injury. Most dental offices offer custom-made mouth guards for patients to comfortably fit their smiles and keep their teeth safe from damage.
10. Avoid habits that are harmful to your teeth.
Steer clear of tobacco and other substances that are harmful to your teeth, and try to break habits such as biting your nails or opening bottle caps with your teeth. If you have the habit of sucking your thumb, lip-biting, tongue-thrusting, or clenching your teeth, consult a dentist for treatment options.