A Simple Guide To Maintaining Good Oral Hygiene
If you haven’t prioritised oral health, this is your sign to do it! We will keep things simple and break down how to maintain a good oral hygiene routine into 3 steps: visiting your dentist, having an excellent oral hygiene routine, and eating the foods and drinks you consume. Forget the over-the-top, confusing advice and prepare for some helpful and refreshing tips to help you look after your smile!
Visit Your Dentist
The very first thing you should do is book a dentist appointment. This is the best starting point as it ties into our other attributes. Firstly, your dentist can provide specific advice based on your oral health, so you know exactly what you should focus on. They will also conduct a thorough oral health check, as although you may not be experiencing pain or having any concerns, many oral health problems exist without people knowing about them! They may also recommend seeing a hygienist if you have plaque build-up on the teeth.
Overall, this is a step in your oral health routine that you absolutely shouldn’t miss out on, as although you do need to pay for your appointment, going regularly will cost a lot less than needing teeth replaced in the future because you didn’t look after them. Please book an appointment to see your dentist in Solihull, Stockholm, or Shanghai, wherever they may be!
Oral Hygiene Routine
Now that you’ve been to see your dentist, they will likely have given you pointers about how you should be brushing, flossing, and using mouthwash. However, we’re going to run over a few of the basics!
Brushing your teeth twice daily, once in the morning and once in the evening after you’ve finished eating and drinking, is the most effective routine. It would help to use an electric toothbrush with fluoride toothpaste, which helps strengthen your teeth’ enamel. Make sure you take your time, brushing for around 2 minutes, getting every surface of your tooth, including those at the back.
You should also avoid brushing your teeth 30 minutes after you have eaten or drunk anything (with water being the exception). This is because if the food is particularly acidic, hot, or sugary, it weakens the enamel temporarily or long term if you continually eat foods and drinks that are bad for your teeth. However, looking at the temporary side, your teeth will be at their weakest for that period, so it’s best to wait 30 minutes to give your teeth a chance to recover. This is also the case regarding foods and drinks that cause staining, such as tea and coffee.
Do I Need To Floss?
Many people skip this step. However, flossing at least once a day is also key to your oral hygiene routine. We like to floss in the evening, as that is when there is likely to be food, sugar or plaque residue between the teeth, so you can go to sleep with a friendly, fresh smile, and there is no chance for the residue to do damage overnight. Anything stuck between your teeth, even small bits of plaque you can’t notice, will do significant long-term damage if not addressed, so make sure you’re flossing once daily.
How Important Is Mouthwash?
Mouthwash is another crucial step in your oral health routine. It helps remove any excess plaque or food residue that flossing and brushing may have missed (after all, it isn’t easy to get to every spot in your mouth daily). It also helps to improve your breath and gives a lovely fresh finish to every oral hygiene routine. Avoid mouthwash containing alcohol, as it can be pretty damaging for some people. Ask your dentist for recommendations if you’re unsure of the best products.
Food and Drink
Now that you’re visiting the dentist and have a great oral health routine, it’s time to consider what you eat and drink. Some foods are great for your teeth, and others are not. You shouldn’t wholly restrict some of life’s most delicious foods and drinks, but make sure you balance the better foods and your oral hygiene routine.
Crunchy Fruits and Veg
First up, we have crunchy fruits and veg. Foods like apples, carrots, and celery help naturally remove plaque from the teeth and freshen the breath. These foods also contain many great vitamins, like vitamin C, which help protect the gums and reduce the chance of infections. So, add even one crunchy veg snack into your diet daily (we love celery and carrot sticks with hummus), and it can help your oral health. These foods also usually help to make your skin glow, so it’s a win-win!
Water is a fantastic option when it comes to your teeth and drinks. As you only brush your teeth twice a day, the foods and beverages you consume that contain sugar or other damaging ingredients on the teeth still have time to build up and sit on the teeth for potentially 12 hours or longer. So, drinking water throughout the day, especially after you’ve eaten or drunk something sugary, will help wash away some residues, like mini midday mouthwash. This doesn’t replace brushing by any means. However, it’s great to help throughout the day. Aim to drink 8 medium-sized glasses of water a day to stay properly hydrated and remove as much residue as possible to see you through until you can brush, floss, and mouthwash correctly.
Another food that is great for your teeth is dairy. Dairy products like milk, cheese, and yoghurt contain caseins, which help to strengthen your enamel, as well as helping to increase pH levels in your mouth to reduce the chance of developing cavities. It’s common knowledge that dairy helps your bones to stay nice and strong, but this is also the case with your teeth!
Why Is Sugar Bad For My Teeth?
Any food or drink containing sugar can harm your teeth over time. When you eat sugar, your mouth releases bacteria to try and break down the sugar, which contains acids that are harmful to your teeth over time. This can damage your enamel, resulting in cavities, tooth loss, and gum disease for some people.
Cutting sugar from your diet entirely is unrealistic, and life is all about balance; however, try to make more thoughtful choices for your oral health where possible. Swap out a high-sugar drink for a lower-sugar version, reduce your 3 sugars in tea down to 1, replace two glasses of squash through the day with water instead, and reduce your intake of alcoholic drinks, which are naturally very sugary for the most part. The same goes for food; swap out a few snacks for lower-sugar options and try different snacks.
Small swaps can make all the difference here, so look for ways to reduce your sugar, and you’ll be surprised at how good you feel. If you are consuming sugar, like mentioned above, drink plenty of water in between.
Tea and Coffee
As much as we love tea and coffee, they contain tannins that build up on our teeth and cause staining over time. They are also acidic drinks, so this can gradually weaken teeth enamel. Other beverages, such as red wine, contain tannins and have a similar effect. So, reduce your tea and coffee intake where you can, and drink water in between. Most tea and coffee lovers will need teeth whitening at some point to keep their smile looking bright!
Your oral health is essential for keeping a happy and healthy smile and ties into all other areas of our health. So, we hope we’ve persuaded you to make it more of a priority and show you it is simple to keep your smile looking and feeling fabulous.