The easiest way to keep your teeth healthy and strong is to take care of them at home. Just a couple of minutes of personal dental hygiene morning and night can be all the difference between bright, healthy smile, and an emergency trip to the dentist. Here are our top dental health hygiene tips for a long-lasting smile:
Drink Water With Every Meal
We’ll start with something a little unexpected!
To keep your teeth healthy, you want to keep them clean. That means not letting them get covered in bits of food for long periods of time. We all know brushing and flossing will help with that (see them below!) but there are plenty of other things you can do to help as well.
One of the easiest? Have a glass of water with every meal. Rinse your teeth when you’ve finished eating to help you get some of those stubborn bits away from your pearly whites. It’s not as effective as brushing, but every little bit helps.
Brush Twice a Day …
Of course we had to mention it! Brushing your teeth for two minutes twice a day is the gold standard of at-home dental hygiene.
But did you know the most important thing about brushing is the brushing itself? Physically removing stuck-on bits of food is what does most of the work to keep your teeth healthy.
… and floss once a day
That’s right; you really only need to floss once a day.
One good floss in the morning or evening is usually more than enough for most people to clear out anything from between your teeth.
If you find flossing difficult, there are a range of devices available that make it so much easier. From picksters to water flossing devices, there’s no excuse these days for not flossing.
Don’t Forget Your Gums …
It’s just as important to brush your gums as it is your teeth. Be extra gentle when brushing your teeth, as you don’t want to irritate them or make them bleed. Keeping your gums clean helps to prevent gingivitis (gum disease), one of the most common diseases in the world.
… Or Your Tongue
Bacteria doesn’t just grow on your teeth and gums. Your tongue can also become home to some nasty bugs you’ll want to get rid of.
That’s why this dental health hygiene tip is to brush your tongue along with your teeth. Just a little scrub back and forth when you’ve done with the teeth and you’re good to go. This can also help with bad breath!
Use a Fluoride Toothpaste
We said above that brushing is the most important aspect of cleaning your teeth, and that’s true. So why do we use toothpaste?
Fluoridated toothpaste, as the name suggests, contains fluoride. This is a mineral the body uses to strengthen the enamel of our teeth. While fluoridated water supplies help maintain a constant level of fluoride for the body to use, a topical application is the most effective.
It’s important to not use fluoridated toothpaste on very small children, usually under the age of six. Too much fluoride at an early age can cause some minor, usually cosmetic problems in the teeth. Your dentist will tell you when it’s time to break out the toothpaste for your little one.
Eat Crunchy Vegetables, not Sugary Sweets
Fresh, crunchy fruit and vegetables are great for early jaw development, are high in fibre, and much better for your teeth than sugary lollies.
However, don’t forget that even natural fruits are high in sugar, and citrus fruits are quite acidic. Too much of these fruits can lead to similar issues as eating lollies!
Also, while crunchy vegetables are great, try to avoid hard foods like tough nuts or ice cubes. These can damage the teeth and lead to a lot of problems.
Visit the Dentist Twice a Year
Our last of our dental health hygiene tips is to remember to see your dentist at least every six months! These appointments are a great way to get a professional eye to look over your teeth and ensure everything is running smoothly.
Dentists and hygienists are also able to look into places in your mouth that you can’t see — and can even take x-rays to see what’s going down under the gums. By getting checked and cleaned every six months, you give yourself the best chance to avoid major dental health problems — or catch them before they get too big!