Achieving and maintaining sound oral wellness is a daily balancing act consisting of a good diet and regular hygiene. Healthy teeth and gums, fresh breath, and a gorgeous smile are just some of the benefits of reducing your sugar intake, and brushing and flossing regularly. Your at-home daily hygiene also plays a key part in your overall health. In recent years, studies have shown a strong correlation between gum disease and a host of potentially life-threatening ailments like diabetes, heart attack, and even Alzheimer’s disease. Dr. Ettienne van Zyl and his team of caring dental professionals are happy to review your at-home dental hygiene routine and proper techniques at their Memphis practice. To learn more, feel free to reach out to us and schedule your appointment today.
The Importance of Good At-home Care
The goal of brushing and flossing your teeth regularly is to remove food debris that collect between the teeth, and to combat bacteria and plaque build-up. When plaque is combined with your saliva and left on the teeth for too many hours, it will calcify and turn into tartar. Brushing at least twice a day and flossing daily is the first line of defense against plaque, tartar, and cavities that can undermine your smile.
The Basic Principles of Daily Oral Hygiene
While brushing and flossing at home, here are some important tips to keep in mind:
- Brush your teeth for at least two minutes: Although it might seem like a long time to brush, it is important to thoroughly brush all the surfaces of your teeth, as well as other parts of your mouth. You may find it useful to implement a timer, clock, or your smartphone to time yourself.
- Brush your teeth when you wake up and before bed: This may seem like an obvious statement, but it is easy to let habits slip. We may stall brushing in the morning, especially if we are enjoying a morning in and leisurely breakfast. Likewise, we may brush our teeth in the evening after dinner, but have a quick snack or few sips of a beverage before hitting the sack. Not brushing in the morning means that the naturally-occurring bacteria in our mouth that have multiplied overnight are not cleaned away, and can turn into acid that harms your enamel. Eating something before we go to bed has a similar effect and can contribute to plaque, tartar, and even tooth decay.
- Brush more than your teeth: Not just our teeth need a good scrubbing every day - essentially, all of the areas of our mouth need to be cleaned of bacteria. Be sure to gently brush your gums, tongue, inner cheeks, and roof of your mouth too.
- Use fluoride toothpaste: Fluoride is a very important tool to defend your teeth against cavities. To make sure you are getting enough of this protective mineral, select a toothpaste with fluoride. You may also want to choose toothpaste with tartar control to help fight the insoluble compound that compromises the appearance, function, and health of your teeth.