Maintaining good oral hygiene habits is essential to keep your teeth, gums, and body healthy overall. Great oral health is about more than just aesthetics. Even if your teeth look sparkly and white, that doesn’t mean there isn’t anything else going on inside your mouth.
There is a direct link between oral health and bodily health. Taking care of your mouth will help protect you from potentially serious health risks associated with gum disease and bacterial infections.
Adopting good oral hygiene habits, including changing your diet, will ensure you enjoy excellent oral health for as long as possible. Here are some of the most important things you can do to enjoy great oral health for the rest of your life:
Be Gentle With Your Brushing
It may seem like the harder you brush, the more plaque and stuck-on food you will get off your teeth. The reality is that gums and enamel are sensitive, and aggressive brushing can actually do more harm than good. The key is to brush gently, but thoroughly. Use your toothbrush to make circular motions on the front, top, and side of your teeth and keep repeating the procedure for 2 minutes straight.
Don’t brush side to side as it can pull at your gums and lead to sensitivity and irritation. Though there are toothbrushes available with hard bristles, dentists recommend choosing a soft-bristled brush and changing it out every three months.
Floss Every Day
For many people, flossing is often low on the priority list when it comes to their oral hygiene. Unfortunately, your toothbrush is only capable of reaching 1/3 of the surface of your teeth. The space between your teeth is not cleanable by a toothbrush; therefore, plaque, food, and bacteria will begin to build up.
Cavities between your teeth can be extremely painful and even lead to abscesses. If you’re facing a dental emergency and need immediate help, you can find an emergency dentist near you at emergencydentalservice.com.
Flossing will allow you to remove that hard-to-reach debris and help to prevent bad breath. The most effective way to floss is to move it gently and slowly up and down a few times between each tooth. Following your floss session with mouthwash is also a must.
Limit Sugars and Starches
Sugar and starch are the favorite foods of bacteria. The bacteria in your mouth will feed off these substances and, in turn, produce a considerable amount of harmful acids. These acids will break down your enamel and put you at risk of tooth decay. The best way to combat this is to starve the bacteria. Avoid food and drinks that are high in sugars such as sodas and sweets. Your sugar intake should be less than 10% of your daily caloric intake.
Also, limit starchy foods such as bread, potatoes, crackers, pasta, and corn. The starch from these foods will sit in your mouth, providing a feast for the harmful bacteria that live there.
Don’t forget to go for regular cleanings at your dentist for thorough tartar and plaque removal that you can’t get off yourself. By implementing these tips, you can continue to enjoy good oral health for years to come.