With a good daily oral hygiene routine, you can keep your gums healthy, prevent cavities, reduce dental plaque buildup and prevent bad breath. From regular brushing and flossing to regular dental checkups and eating foods low in sugar, there are many factors involved in maintaining good oral hygiene.
At home, you should be brushing and flossing several times a day. The best times are when you first wake up, after eating and before you go to bed. Using the right tools, such as toothbrushes, toothpaste and mouthwash, will ensure the efficacy and efficiency of a daily oral hygiene routine. A good toothbrush will allow you to reach all interior areas of the mouth. Most dental professional recommend a soft-bristled brush for removing debris and plaque from the teeth. For reaching tough areas like the back teeth, small-headed brushes are preferred. Overall, electric toothbrushes do a better job of cleaning the teeth and preventing gingivitis than manual brushes. They are also ideal for those who have limited dexterity. A worn toothbrush can damage gums and collect germs that can lead to infection. A good rule of thumb is to change a toothbrush once every three months.
The best toothpastes for good oral hygiene are those that carry the American Dental Association’s (ADA) Seal of Acceptance. This seal will ensure that the products has met ADA scientific criteria for effectiveness and safety. In addition, it’s always best to choose a toothpaste that has fluoride. Fluoride has been proven to be effective in the prevention of cavities. Mouthwashes do much more than simply give you good breath. In addition to freshening breath, mouthwashes help reduce bacteria in dental plaque and prevent gum disease. A fluoride mouthwash will also help prevent tooth decay.
Also known as oral water irrigators, water picks aren’t necessary for everyone. Those with orthodontic appliances and braces benefit from these devices. Water picks help remove food with the appliance and the teeth. It is important to note that water picks do not remove plaque. Only flossing and brushing with toothpaste can do that.
With too many non-nutritional snacks, sweetened fruit drinks and sugary sodas, the risk for tooth decay is much greater. Any foods that contain sugars of any kind can cause tooth decay. When plaque comes in contact with sugar in the mouth, it causes acid to decay the teeth. In addition, poor nutrition contributes to tooth loss and gum disease.
If you have any questions regarding your oral hygiene, call our office today at: (503) 563-3655 or visit our office located at: 610 SW Alder Street, Ste 1105, Portland, OR 97205.