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Daily Oral Hygiene: How To Look After Your Teeth
by Dr. Michael Popp on Dec 19, 2014

Overview: It's always good to maintain healthy oral hygiene habits in between your dental visits, but keeping track of what to do can be hard! Check out the blog below and see how many of these daily oral hygiene practices you manage.

 


 

While regular dental visits are important, so is what you do between those visits. For most people, everyday dental habits are so ingrained that it can be hard to notice when you're doing something wrong. In this blog we'll go over some of the daily dental practices that you should be doing, and how you should be doing them.

 

Brush Twice A Day
 

Brushing your teeth twice a day is crucial for the removal of plaque build up and for maintaining a healthy mouth. You should use a relatively soft toothbrush to avoid damaging your gums and you should make sure you brush all tooth surfaces, such as the eating surface, the front, and the back of the teeth. Don't forget to brush your tongue and if you have problems brushing thoroughly you may benefit from buying an electric toothbrush. Electric toothbrushes not only do most of the work for you, but they can also be set to time your brushing so you can be sure you're giving your teeth the attention they need.

 

Flossing Is Important!
 

This is one you probably hear all the time from your dentist, but flossing really is important! Flossing once a day will remove plaque and bacteria build up between your teeth that simply can't be removed by regular brushing. No matter how good your dental habits are, not flossing can ruin everything. Not sure how to floss? Here are a couple of tips:

 

  • Break off a length of floss around 20 inches long, as this will give you enough material to securely wrap around your fingers.
  • Insert the length of floss between your teeth using a forward and backwards motion and once the floss has reached your gum you can individually clean your teeth by gently sliding the the floss up and down in a C shape against the side of each tooth.
  • Repeat for all teeth.
  • If your gums bleed at first, this is natural and they will soon become used to this routine.

 

 

Try Mouthwash
 

Like flossing, using an antibacterial mouthwash regularly can also help protect your mouth from gum disease and excess bacteria. Fluoride-based mouthwashes can provide additional protection against tooth decay and cavities, although you should always check with your dentist before adding extra fluoride into your dental routine as too much can be harmful, especially for younger children.

 

Avoid Sugary Foods
 

If you've got all of the above covered then the next step is to cut down on your sugary food intake. From foods like candy to acidic sugary drinks like pop, reducing your consumption by even a small amount can make a difference. Additionally, it's not just the sugar content of these foods that can be harmful, but also the time your teeth are exposed to them. If you have to eat that bag of candy, make sure you finish it quickly as the longer you spend eating these types of foods, the more harm is done to your teeth.

 

Bottom Line: No matter how good you think your oral hygiene routine is, it is always valuable to reassess your habits and techniques to make sure you're doing it right. Looking after your teeth quickly becomes part of your daily routine and this means it can be hard to look at it objectively – you don't think about it, you just “do it.” But by taking the time to evaluate your methods and techniques you can make sure what you're doing each is in line with the dental recommendations of today, and your teeth will be healthier as a result!

 

Unsure about how to take care of your teeth? Contact Dr. Michael Popp at the Marlborough Dental Centre in NE Calgary today on (403) 248-2066.


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