Your dental health is vital to your overall health and quality of life. By following basic dental care, you can help keep your teeth and gums healthy and avoid costly dental problems such as cavities, tooth and bone loss, and gum disease.
To prevent dental problems and maintain or improve your dental health, here are the basic dental care practices you should incorporate into your oral health routine.
Brushing and Flossing
One of the most basic but essential dental care practices for strong oral health is brushing and flossing your teeth. Even if you avoid sugar and stick to a healthy diet, plaque can accumulate on your teeth. Without regular brushing, this plaque can build up and lead to dental problems like cavities, tooth decay, and gum disease.
To get the most out of brushing your teeth, brush your teeth at least twice a day — morning and night — and brush for a minimum of two minutes. Spending about 30 seconds brushing each quarter of your mouth is a great way to ensure you’re spending an adequate amount of time on all your teeth.
When picking a toothpaste, consider using one that contains fluoride to further protect against cavities and tooth decay. Of course, technique matters too when it comes to your dental care. Here are three conventional brushing techniques that will help ensure you’re cleaning your teeth thoroughly.
This toothbrushing method involves using your toothbrush’s bristles to scrub away plaque. To follow this technique, hold your toothbrush parallel to your mouth, tilting it to a 45° angle, and angling it, so the bristles are just below the gumline. Applying gentle pressure, brush in a circular motion or back-and-forth about 15 to 20 times before moving to other teeth. Don’t forget to brush the surface of your molars and tongue as well.
To follow the Stillman Technique, follow the same steps as the bass method, except instead of using circles, use firm, horizontal strokes to brush all your teeth back-and-forth.
If you have had periodontal surgery, have braces, dentures, or have spaces between your teeth or are experiencing gum recession, the Charter Technique is for you.
To follow this toothbrushing method, tilt your toothbrush at a 45° angle on the gum line, pointing in the direction opposite of the other methods. Using small back-and-forth motions or circles, brush 15 to 20 times before moving onto your other teeth.
While brushing helps remove plaque on your teeth, flossing is another essential dental care practice that targets plaque buildup between the teeth. If you relied on brushing alone, you’d miss almost half of your teeth’s surface area that exists between teeth.
Flossing at least once a day is a healthy way to prevent tooth decay, gum disease, and bad breath. To floss, use roughly 45 cm of floss, winding it around your middle fingers. Grip it firmly between your index fingers and thumbs and carefully glide the floss back-and-forth between teeth.
If you experience sensitivity or bleeding around your gums as you floss, this may be a sign you need to floss more, or your gums are in poor dental health. As you make flossing a habit, any sensitivity or bleeding should dissipate.
Regular Dental Check-Ups and Cleanings
Beyond healthy oral habits you can practice at home, another important aspect of your dental care is getting regular dental check-ups and teeth cleanings. Seeing a dentist for general check-ups and teeth cleanings every six months will help you maintain strong dental health.
At Dentistry on Solent, our team of experienced dentists offer general check-ups and kids dentistry services to check patients’ overall dental health. We perform teeth cleanings to eliminate plaque buildup that is sometimes missed with insufficient teeth brushing and flossing.
For individuals who might experience heightened anxiety or nervousness at the dentist, we also offer conscious sedation techniques, relaxation therapy, noise-cancelling headphones, and LCD monitors for entertainment and welcomed distractions during treatment.
What to Avoid
Beyond the list of things every individual should do to support their dental health, there are some things they should avoid. For instance, avoiding sugary foods and drinks is a healthy dental care practice. Because sugar helps plaque flourish, avoiding it is an excellent way to reduce the chances of plaque buildup.
Other unhealthy habits that can affect your oral health are smoking or chewing tobacco products. These products can cause gum disease and oral cancer and lead to other health issues.
Establish Healthy Habits
In addition to regular brushing and flossing, there are some extra steps you can take to ensure a healthy mouth. Using a mouthwash with fluoride or other ingredients recommended by your dentist can help you fight off plaque, plus add a little extra minty freshness to your dental hygiene routine.
Another practice to add to your dental care routine is tongue cleaning. You can use a soft toothbrush or upgrade to a tongue cleaner to gently brush or scrape your tongue from back-to-front. If you have deep grooves in your tongue or smoke, this practice is especially important to prevent bacteria from building up in your mouth.
Basic Dental Care to Support Your Dental Health
If it’s been a while since you’ve gotten a dental check-up or think you could benefit from a tooth cleaning, it’s time to see your dentist. Call on (02) 9158 6137 to schedule an appointment with Dentistry on Solent today.