Having good oral health doesn’t have to be difficult. By doing some simple things every day, you can experience a lifetime of healthy teeth and gums.
At Dentist of Cerritos, we are dedicated to helping our patients have an optimal, healthy smile. Here are our tips for obtaining and maintaining the best oral health:
It should go without saying, but our list would be incomplete without it...daily teeth brushing is important! You should brush your teeth at least twice per day, and sometimes more. For example, you probably should brush your teeth after having a sweet snack with a lot of sugar in it. (Although, it would be even better to avoid the sugary snack in the first place!)
You should brush your teeth daily with a soft personal toothbrush, one that is not too hard. Hard bristle toothbrushes can irritate gums and actually worsen oral health. Furthermore, your toothbrush should be replaced every few months. If your toothbrush looks worn down and the bristles are pointing in funny directions, that is a good sign that it’s time to throw out the toothbrush and get a new one.
These same rules apply if you are using an electric toothbrush. Electric toothbrushes can be very helpful in keeping teeth clean, but it is also important to have fresh brush heads for these electric oral health tools.
In addition to brushing your teeth every day, you should also floss between the teeth daily. You only have to floss teeth once a day, although it’s fine to floss more frequently if you want to. Pick the same time every day to floss your teeth so you remember. Some people prefer to floss their teeth every day after breakfast, while other people prefer to floss their teeth before they go to bed.
The type of dental floss that you use will depend on what you prefer, but most store-bought floss will be fine to use. If you have braces or other dental appliances, you might prefer waxed tooth floss. Unwaxed tooth floss can shred and leave little bits of floss in the braces.
A water pick is another alternative to floss and can be used in lieu of dental floss to irrigate the mouth and remove debris from between the teeth.
A tongue scraper is an optional dental practice. The tradition comes from Ayurveda in India, where it has been used for thousands of years to help improve oral health. A traditional tongue scraper is a metal tool that has two handles and looks kind of like a horseshoe. To use one, hold on to both ends and then use the curved part of the tongue scraper to scrape the back of the tongue, from back to forward, gently. The tongue scraper will remove food debris, bacteria, and other residue from the tongue.
You do not have to use a traditional tongue scraper to scrape the tongue. You could use your toothbrush to do the scraping just by brushing the tongue as you do your teeth, or you can get a modern commercial tongue scraper. There are many varieties, some of which are single handed and are easy to use.
Plain water is a natural rinse for the mouth. When you drink water, you are clearing away debris and food particles from the teeth. This is an easy way to help reduce the amount of bacteria in the mouth after you’ve eaten. For example, maybe you are at a restaurant, and you don’t have a toothbrush with you. After you finish your meal, you can take some water, drink it, and rinse your mouth out. (There’s no need to spit the water out, you can swallow it.)
No list of daily things for your oral health is complete if it does not mention reducing sugar. We know this is not a fun item on the list. However, it can be very helpful in improving oral health because sugar feeds the bacteria that create cavities in the teeth. So, if you want better oral health and fewer cavities, consume less sugar.
Coffees, teas, and colas can stain the teeth, dulling your smile. Drinking less of these items can give you a whiter, brighter smile. Colas also have sugar, which we already covered in the previous point. Furthermore, coffees and colas are acidic drinks that can erode your tooth enamel. Less tooth enamel means your teeth are more susceptible to cavities.
In addition to consuming less sugar, and drinking more water instead of coffee and cola, a healthy diet is also helpful. Eating a balanced diet will help your oral health indirectly by giving you more robust health overall. With the right nutrition, your gums will be healthier, and you will be better able to resist infections in the mouth.
While it’s not something you need to do daily, regular visits to Dentist of Cerritos will make a positive difference in your oral health. By seeing us for a yearly checkup and twice-yearly professional teeth cleanings, you can have healthier teeth and gums. We can also help resolve issues such as cavities and gum disease. Our friendly staff is also happy to give you more tips on better oral health.
If you want to improve your oral health, regular dental checkups and professional teeth cleanings can make a huge difference. Come visit Dentist of Cerritos! Call us today at (562) 414-5064 to schedule an appointment.
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