Flossing and brushing your teeth and both important parts of a good oral hygiene routine, but there are other critical elements too. To do the best job maintaining your smile to keep your teeth and smile disease-free, follow the steps below outlined by our Collingwood dentists.
Brushing your teeth is likely the most important thing you could do each day to maintain your smile. Brushing our teeth two to three times each day is critical to your overall oral health - as long as you are sure to do it for two to three minutes each time.
For ideal results, brush each “quadrant” of your teeth (upper right, upper left, lower right, lower left) for 30 seconds. Carefully brush all the exposed surfaces of your teeth, including the fronts, backs and biting surfaces, of each tooth.
Tip: Try an Electric Toothbrush
An electric toothbrush makes it easier to clean your teeth. They require less effort than manual brushes since they perform the correct brushing movement for you. Choose an electric toothbrush with a round, rotating head, as this makes the ideal circular brushing motion.
In addition, because the head is quite small, it’s easier to clean those awkward, hard-to-reach spots, like your back molars, and the backs of your front teeth.
You should floss at least once a day, preferably at night before bed. Flossing dislodges food debris and build-up from between your teeth, in the places your toothbrush can’t reach.
Insert the floss between two of your teeth and carefully run it up and down the sides of each tooth, pulling it into a "c" shape in both directions to get the best contact with the surface of each tooth. Proceed slowly and thoroughly, and be sure to floss between every two teeth.
Professional Dental Cleanings & Check-ups
Visiting the dentist every six months for a dental cleaning and check-up is essential to maintaining oral health.
Your dentist has the expertise and tools required to remove plaque and tartar build-up that you can't remove yourself with brushing and flossing.
Your dentist will also be able to identify dental problems in the beginning stages if they see you often enough, and treat them before they get worse. Oral health problems like cavities, gum disease and even tumours, cysts and other abnormalities are often not noticeable to the untrained eye in their early stages, so it's important to get your mouth evaluated regularly by a dental professional.
Eating a healthy diet that’s rich in calcium helps keep your teeth healthy from the inside out. Restrict consumption of sugars and starches, because oral bacteria thrive on these.
Staying hydrated can help prevent cavities! Drinking plenty of water will help you maintain a sufficient saliva flow, and saliva washes away the food particles that collect on your teeth and allow bacteria to multiply.
Supplementary Hygiene Aids
Oral hygiene aids are additions to your brushing and flossing routine. Good examples of supplementary hygiene aids include tongue cleaners, mouthwash, interdental cleaners, and oral irrigators.
These aids can help you keep your breath fresh, and prevent plaque from building up between brushing and flossing sessions. While they are not sufficient replacements for a thorough brushing and flossing routine, they can definitely help improve it.