A well-cared-for smile looks fabulous at any age. Who doesn’t want to enjoy all the benefits of having excellent oral hygiene, beautifully fresh breath, healthy pink gums, and a lovely white smile? Ensuring your mouth remains healthy year-round is a major reason why you should visit your dentist regularly. There’s nothing quite like that ‘just been to the dentist’ feeling after you’ve had your routine checkup and your teeth cleaned professionally.
Hopefully, if you care about your dental health, you’ll see your dentist twice yearly, but in-between visits there is a lot you can do to maintain an excellent level of oral health. What’s even better is that these things are easy for anyone to do. Listed below are some tips to make sure your teeth always look great.
Use the Right Toothbrush
Using the right toothbrush is critical for good oral health, so choose a brush with soft to medium bristles and make sure the head is small enough to comfortably reach the teeth right at the back of your mouth. This is important because otherwise, you will not be able to clean these teeth thoroughly. If your mouth is especially small, you could even purchase a child-sized toothbrush. Most electric toothbrush heads are already quite small. Also, if you struggle with dexterity, for example, because of arthritis, consider purchasing a good quality electric toothbrush. It’s much easier to manipulate and will do a lot of the work for you.
Replace Your Toothbrush Regularly
Toothbrushes do wear out quite quickly, and usually, it is necessary to replace them every three months on average. Make a note on your calendar as to when you should be changing your toothbrush and keep an eye on the bristles. If they begin to look worn or splayed, it’s time to invest in a brand-new brush.
Get Professional Advice on How to Clean Your Teeth Thoroughly
Brushing your teeth twice a day should be adequate to keep them clean, and it’s better to brush first thing in the morning and the last thing at night. It’s easy to imagine that it’s better to brush your teeth more frequently. However, if you scrub your teeth too hard or brush them the wrong way, you could cause gum recession, where the tooth roots become exposed. Because your tooth roots are not covered with hard enamel, they are more susceptible to tooth decay, and most likely these teeth will also feel quite sensitive to hot and cold.
It’s well worth asking your hygienist to demonstrate how to brush your teeth correctly because it will probably be the first time anyone has shown you since you were a child! You don’t need to brush your teeth very hard, as a gentler and sustained approach of brushing your teeth for two minutes is very effective.
Make Sure You Floss Once-a-Day
Flossing is the easiest and most effective way to clean thoroughly in between teeth. It can remove plaque and food debris from areas that can’t be reached by your toothbrush. When plaque isn’t removed each day thoroughly, it greatly increases your risk of tooth decay and gum disease. Dentists can always tell who flosses their teeth regularly and who doesn’t! If you frequently neglect to floss, ask your dentist or hygienist for a quick refresher on how to floss correctly.
Also, they can talk to you about other tools you might like to try such as interdental pics and brushes, or perhaps a water flosser would be a good solution. The most important thing is to find a method of flossing that works for you and to stick to it regularly. When you begin to floss your teeth regularly, it quickly becomes a habit, and it will feel equally as strange to skip flossing as it would to skip brushing your teeth twice a day.
Use Your Tongue to Tell You If Your Teeth Are Clean
After you finish brushing your teeth, just take a moment to run your tongue over all your tooth surfaces. If all these surfaces feel smooth, you’ve probably cleaned your teeth pretty well. If any surfaces feel sticky, go back and clean them again as they are most likely still covered with plaque. Another thing you could try is using a disclosing tablet that you chew. This will stain any areas still covered in plaque.
Try Not to Snack In Between Meals
Snacking in between meals is a good way to increase your risk of tooth decay, and especially if you eat something very sticky or sweet. The sugars in foods are used by bacteria in plaque for energy, and these bacteria produce a weak acid as a by-product. The acid weakens tooth enamel and causes acid erosion, eventually creating holes or cavities in teeth which, in turn, can lead to tooth loss. Therefore, if you don’t have full mouth tooth implants, take care of your teeth.
Every time you eat something sweet, your mouth remains more acidic for up to an hour afterward. If you want something sugary, try to eat it as part of the main meal when the damage to your teeth is reduced.
Book a Checkup If You Notice Any Changes to Your Oral Health
If you notice any lumps, sore patches or ulcers that fail to heal after a couple of weeks, get in touch with the best cosmetic dentist. Other symptoms to be aware of include discoloration or sensitivity, or pain or bleeding.
Don’t Brush Immediately After Eating
It is tempting to brush your teeth immediately after eating, but make sure you wait at least half an hour to an hour until the acidity in your mouth has reduced. This gives your teeth time to re-harden as otherwise, you’d be brushing softer tooth enamel that is more easily damaged.
Use Fluoride Toothpaste
Fluoride is a beneficial ingredient in toothpaste because it hardens tooth enamel, increasing its resistance to decay. When you use fluoride toothpaste, the fluoride is applied topically to the surface of the tooth. To enhance its efficacy, don’t rinse your mouth after brushing, but just spit out the excess paste. This ensures a thin layer of fluoride remains coating your teeth, giving them just a bit more protection.
Finally, keep well hydrated with water which will ensure your body can make plenty of saliva which helps to protect your teeth. Also, if you have questions about your dental health, remember you can always ask your dental team next time you visit their office.