Having good oral hygiene is important for your teeth and gums, but it’s also key for your overall health. The good news is that oral diseases and issues are largely preventable — if you follow the rules that help keep your mouth in good shape.
At Dental Studios in Summit and Westfield, New Jersey, our dentists offer comprehensive dental services to keep your mouth in tip-top shape. Our providers have created this guide to remind you to stop breaking important oral hygiene rules so you can enjoy the best oral health possible.
Rule 1: Brush and floss every day …
It sounds simple, but many people don’t take these steps each day to protect their oral health. In fact, a recent study found that more people don’t floss than do, with just 30% saying they floss at least once a day but over 37% reporting they floss only sometimes and nearly one-third saying they never floss at all.
Brushing and flossing your teeth every day is key to keeping your mouth as healthy as possible. At a minimum, brush twice each day to prevent plaque from turning into cavity-causing tartar, and floss every day to remove food particles from hard-to-reach places between your teeth.
Rule 2: … but don’t brush too hard
Even if you’re brushing your teeth every day, you could be doing more harm than good if you’re using too much force. Brushing your teeth too vigorously or using a toothbrush with hard bristles can harm your gums and even damage your teeth’s protective enamel.
Instead, the American Dental Association (ADA) recommends using a soft-bristled toothbrush and following the right technique when cleaning your teeth. This means using small, circular motions and avoiding harsh back-and-forth cleaning.
If you need a few pointers, your Dental Studios provider can show you the right way to brush at your next visit.
Rule 3: Rinse your mouth after flossing
Flossing is an essential part of keeping your mouth healthy, as brushing alone only reaches about 60% of the surfaces of your teeth. But many people skip an equally important oral hygiene rule: rinsing after you floss.
It’s important to rinse your mouth thoroughly after flossing, which helps flush away any loosened debris or bacteria remaining in your mouth. For an added boost of protection, reach for an antimicrobial mouthwash that contains fluoride.
Rule 4: Don’t put things in your mouth that are bad for oral health
It may seem obvious, but people break this rule each and every day. From eating foods high in simple starches, sugar, or acids to smoking cigarettes to chewing on their fingernails or ice cubes, humans have a tough time keeping things out of their mouths that are dangerous to their oral health.
Focus on eating or drinking the things that are good for your oral health instead. Snack on fruits and crunchy veggies, sip on water and unsweetened beverages to satisfy your thirst. And limit how many sugary treats or highly acidic foods, like citrus fruits and coffee, you consume.
Rule 5: See a dentist regularly
Most people should see a dentist at least twice a year at six-month intervals for a professional cleaning and dental examination. During your cleaning, your provider removes any plaque and hardened tartar from your teeth, reducing your risk of cavities.
Regular exams allow your Dental Studios provider to check for signs of cavities, gum disease, oral cancers, and other oral health concerns. We may also use dental X-rays to check for signs of any issues.
It’s never too late to start a healthy habit. Get more oral hygiene tips or set up your next dental exam by scheduling an appointment online or over the phone with a provider at Dental Studios in Summit or Westfield, New Jersey.