In the hustle and bustle of everyday society, Americans have a lot to worry about. They have to balance jobs, families, social commitments, and a whole host of other things. Americans are also trying to fit their oral health into that mix. More than 80% of American adults say that their oral health is a higher priority than maintaining a diet or focusing on their mental health.
If you’ve got cracked teeth, crooked teeth, or you’re missing teeth, there are many cosmetic dentistry options to pick from that can restore your smile. But one of the best things you can do for your mouth and your overall health is to establish a good oral hygiene routine.
You likely learned all about the importance of brushing, flossing, and using mouthwash when you were young, but maintaining those good habits takes a little something extra as you get older. With that in mind, here are some good tips to maintain good oral health:
Find the Right Toothbrush
It’s estimated that Americans spent about 1,000 hours brushing their teeth over the course of a lifetime. If you’re going to spend that much time scrubbing your teeth, anyone working in dental services will tell you that you need to find a good toothbrush.
With so many toothbrushes on the market, you may wonder which one is the best for you. Ideally, you want to brush your teeth for two to three minutes at least twice a day, so you want a toothbrush that can get the job done without causing damage to your teeth.
What do you need to be looking for in a toothbrush?
- You need a toothbrush with soft bristles. A brush with hard bristles can lead to heightened tooth sensitivity and can pull back gum tissue from a tooth.
- Employees in dental services will also tell you that you need a brush with a head size that’s big enough for your mouth. Watch out for child vs adult sizes.
- If you need help brushing properly, getting a powered toothbrush is a good idea. This is especially true if you have braces or misaligned teeth.
- Replace your toothbrush (or brush head) as soon as the bristles get worn down. You should also replace your toothbrush if you get sick.
Find the Right Toothpaste
Just as important as a toothbrush is finding the right toothpaste. But if you find yourself staring at toothpaste packaging in the dental aisle, it can get a little daunting.
So what do you pick? The answer is unique to every person and really depends on your oral health. As you scan the toothpaste section, think about your teeth and ask yourself some basic questions: Are you dealing with gingivitis? Are you looking to whiten your teeth? Do you have sensitive teeth?
Once you’ve asked those questions, you can get down to the nitty gritty and find the right toothpaste:
- Check the toothpaste labels: The first thing you should do is talk to your local dentist or someone in dental services about what’s best for you. One thing that you need to check for on every label is fluoride, which helps prevent tooth decay.
- For sensitive teeth, you’ll want to look for toothpaste with strontium chloride or potassium nitrate. These help block nerve pathways through the teeth, which can cause pain.
- If you’re looking to prevent tartar buildup, look for a toothpaste with baking soda in it. Baking soda can also help whiten your teeth.
- Avoid toothpaste that’s not approved by the American Dental Association, as well as some toothpaste that’s been made overseas.
Sticking to a Routine
The right toothpaste and toothbrush can help you keep a clean mouth, but a good routine is important too. With these steps, you’ll but yourself that far ahead of the game when you visit local dental services for your twice-a-year cleanings.
Even with the proper toothbrush and toothpaste, you won’t do yourself any favors if you aren’t brushing correctly. What do you need to do? Hold your brush at roughly a 45-degree angle to your gums. Once you’ve done that, use short strokes to go back and forth against the tops and sides of your teeth. You should also hold your brush vertically and get the backs of your teeth too.
Brush Long Enough
As previously mentioned, experts in dental services will tell you that you need to brush at least twice a day. They’ll also tell you that you need to spent two to three minutes brushing each time. If that proves challenging, try playing a short video on your phone. You can also try setting a timer or listening to a song to pass the time.
You probably learned about the importance of flossing as a youngster, but even the best dentists will tell you it’s still important to do as an adult. When you floss correctly, you can get to the places where bacteria resides and keep your mouth even cleaner.
Ideally, you want to use a piece of floss that’s about 18 inches long. You want a long enough piece so you can use a fresh area of floss for every few teeth you do. As you floss, you should move the floss in the shape of a C backward and forwards, while you wrap floss around each of your teeth.
Don’t Forget Mouthwash
The simple fact is that mouthwash can get to places toothbrushes and floss can’t. There are all kinds of mouthwash available and in most cases it comes down to preference. Experts in dental services can give you some tips on how to pick the right mouthwash for you. If you’re trying to teach your son or daughter about using mouthwash for example, there are mouthwashes without alcohol that are safe to use.
Scrape Your Tongue
Even if you’ve got the right brush and you’re brushing correctly, bacteria can still stick around on your tongue. To get your mouth extra clean, you should brush or scrape your tongue as part of your regimen. This will keep the bacteria out and help keep your breath fresh.
Cut Out Snacks
Who doesn’t enjoy a bowl of ice cream or a bowl of chips or pretzels late at night? If you’re prone to having a midnight snack, you’ll need to brush your teeth at least one extra time. Brushing can get rid of food particles and bacteria. But eating again after you brush provides the perfect environment for more bacteria to grow. If you can, cut out late-night snacking after you brush. This will help keep your mouth cleaner while you sleep.
Contact the Experts
If you’re looking for the best New Orleans dentist, or specifically the best Mid City dentist, then look no further than the staff at Comfort Smiles Dentistry. Dr Dubois and his staff offer a wide range of treatments to help your oral health and restore your smile.