One of the first things we notice when we meet a new person is their smile. But how you care for your mouth should go beyond aesthetics alone. Yes, it’s nice to have pearly whites, but you need to remember that how you take care of your mouth, in general, can have significant effects on your health and wellbeing. Here’s a quick run through of how to maintain good overall oral health.
We all know the importance of brushing our teeth twice a day. It’s instilled in us from when we are young children. But many of us can slip into bad habits when it comes to our teeth cleaning techniques. A manual toothbrush can be just as good as an electric one, but it will require more conscious and prolonged cleaning. If possible, invest in an electric brush to make the task quick and simple. You should spend at least two minutes brushing. Consider using a timer to get your timing right. Use a fluoride based toothpaste and go gentle on yourself. Angle your toothbrush at approximately 45 degrees and use short, brisk strokes. Finally, don’t forget to brush your tongue. It can harbor all sorts of germs, so it needs a good clean too.
A surprising number of people skip flossing regularly. You should, ideally, floss once a day following brushing. Food can easily become trapped in between your teeth and brushing alone will not remove interdental build up. It is also an important part of avoiding gum disease, as food build up between teeth can cause irritation to the gumline. For more thorough cleaning, try out interdental brushes. Ask your dentist how to use these properly and for advice on the best size interdental brush for you.
A mouthwash and mouth rinse should be used regularly. Preferably after brushing and flossing. Its main function is to freshen breath with a nice minty odor. But specialist rinses can help to control the development of bacteria in your mouth. If you have weak enamel, you might want to use a fluoride wash mid-day too.
Know Your Mouth
Know your mouth’s general appearance. This way, you can identify changes or abnormalities early on and prevent the development of a disease. A common condition that people turn a blind eye to is white tongue: as the name suggests, it involves a white coating or film on your tongue. Most don’t know how to get rid of white tongue, so leave it in the hope that it goes away by itself. But it is important to confront any oral problems, no matter how seemingly minor they may be.
Visit your Dentist Regularly
You should visit your dentist and hygienist every six months. Most people will skip appointments, but only your dentist will be able to evaluate the overall health of your mouth and teeth. Increase frequency if you are pregnant, as pregnant women tend to be more prone to dental disease. Note down any worries, aches or pains and relay these to your dentist during your appointment. Book in for a scale and polish too, as this will remove any tartar buildup that might have developed since your last visit.