A healthy set of teeth is essential for various reasons, including the ability to chew properly and speak eloquently. Not only that, but healthy teeth help us retain our facial structure and create a good-looking smile.
If you want to keep your teeth in peak condition for the rest of your life, you must be ready to practice good oral hygiene every day. Here are simple steps you may take to improve dental health:
How can you improve your dental health?
Invest in a good toothbrush
A stiff-bristled brush may do more harm than good. Too-firm brush bristles increase the risk of overbrushing, which can lead to unwanted enamel loss and gum recession.
Here are our toothbrush recommendations:
- Manual toothbrushes: Choose a toothbrush with soft bristles and replace it every 3-4 months.
- Battery operated: These are useful for transitioning or travelling and last on average 4-6 weeks.
- Electric: Electric toothbrushes have features such as a pressure sensor to limit the risk of recession and damage from over brushing, as well as a built-in timer. These should last for years, but you’ll need to replace the heads every 3-4 months.
Avoid using mouthwash immediately after brushing
We do not advocate using mouthwash immediately after cleaning your teeth. Ideally, you should wait around 30 minutes before applying mouthwash. The reason for this is to prevent you from rinsing away the valuable fluoride from your toothpaste, which has to remain on your teeth after you have cleaned them.
Mouthwash helps in three ways:
- Reduces the amount of acid in the mouth
- Cleans hard-to-brush areas
- Remineralises the teeth
To get the most out of your mouthwash, gargle 5-10ml for around one minute before spitting it out. This will ensure that all bacteria have been eradicated from your teeth.
Remember that mouthwash is an optional supplement to our dental hygiene regimen, not a substitute for flossing or brushing.
Remember to floss
Although you may think that this procedure is unnecessary, it is the only way to remove any food stuck between your teeth. Failure to remove the lodged food might lead to plaque buildup, which increases the risk of tooth decay and bad breath.
Flossing just before bedtime ensures that all day’s food is cleared from between your teeth. Flossing can be done in a variety of ways, depending on your preferences:
- Flossettes (floss with a handle) are ideal for beginners because they are easier to use.
- Interdental brushes are typically colour-coded by size and can be used in place of floss if they fit. Your hygienist will need to ‘size you up,’ so make sure you use the correct size for your mouth, or they will not work.
- Water flossers are becoming increasingly popular. However, if you have small gaps between your teeth, this method may be difficult for you.
When you become dehydrated, the amount of saliva in your mouth decreases. When your mouth is dry, bacteria usually washed away by saliva accumulate on your enamel, increasing your risk of tooth decay.
We recommend consuming 6 to 8 glasses of water per day to keep your body hydrated and to keep bacteria from harming your teeth. It’s also a good idea to drink water after each meal to help wash out food particles between brushes.
Consume a good diet
When it comes to dental health, sugar is the number one adversary. Sugar eventually transforms into acid in the mouth, which can destroy your enamel.
Brushing and flossing your teeth twice a day will provide you with 4-12 hours of protection, which is why we advocate doing so twice a day.
Teeth require a lot of calcium. That said, ensure you take vitamin and calcium-rich foods such as milk, yoghurt, cheese, orange juice, and other dairy products.
Your journey to great oral health doesn’t have to be one you accomplish on your own. elleven Dental’s team is dedicated to assisting you at every step of the way. Book an appointment with us to discuss how to improve dental health so that we can get started and ensure that your good oral habits last.