The Do’s & Don’ts of Oral Hygiene

The Do’s & Don’ts of Oral Hygiene

Taking care of your teeth not only gives you a bright and beautiful smile, it can also help you avoid future problems and prevent unnecessary discomfort.  There are many things you can do to help your teeth stay clean and healthy, and there are many things to avoid so as not to wreak havoc in your mouth.  Check out our list of the do’s and don’ts of oral hygiene.

DO drink lots of water.  In addition to being great for your physical health, drinking plenty of water is great for your oral health too.  Drinking water helps clean your teeth between meals by washing away leftover food particles and germs.  In addition, most water contains fluoride which is a natural cavity fighter and will help keep your teeth and gums healthy.

DON’T consume too much sugar.  While it may taste good, consuming too much sugar is not good for your teeth.  The reason for this is because as the bacteria on your teeth begin to break down sugar, acids form.  These acids quickly dissolve your tooth enamel, and without tooth enamel to protect your teeth, decay and gum disease quickly follow.  Treating yourself with something sweet occasionally is ok, but try to avoid forming habits like drinking sugary sodas daily, and when you do consume sugar, make sure to brush your teeth afterwards.

DO brush and floss every day.  This is probably a given, but brushing your teeth at least twice a day and flossing once a day is the best thing you can do for your mouth.  Make sure to brush for two minutes each time, and don’t neglect flossing.  Flossing will get leftover food particles that simply brushing won’t get.  When you brush, make sure you are using a soft-bristled toothbrush because they are much gentler on your teeth and gums.

DON’T brush too hard.  People often think that the harder they brush, the cleaner their teeth will be.  However, the truth is that brushing too hard can cause damage to the gums.  Instead of brushing harder, focus on your technique.  To clean the front teeth, place your toothbrush at a 45-degree angle with your gums and lightly move it back and forth in short, gentle strokes.  Use the same technique to brush the inside, outside, and tops of the molars.  Pay special attention to the back, hard-to-reach teeth and the areas around fillings or crowns

DO chew sugar free gum.  If you’re tempted to snack on chewy, sugary candy, chewing sugar free gum is a great alternative and is even considered to be good for your mouth.  Sugar free gum stimulates saliva production, which serves as a natural rinse from all the leftover food and bacteria that stick around in the mouth.

DON’T chew on ice, pen caps etc.  Chewing on ice or other inedible objects like pen caps or pencils can damage your teeth.  In addition to cracking or chipping your teeth, it is also possible to damage existing dental work like fillings or crowns.   This bad habit can also put too much pressure on your jaw which will cause discomfort.

DO consider rinsing with a mouthwash daily.  While not required to have good oral health, rinsing your mouth with mouthwash once a day is a great way to get that extra clean feeling.  Many over-the-counter mouthwashes have ingredients in them that will help your mouth fight bacteria that create bad breath, gingivitis, and cavities.

DON’T smoke.  In addition to staining teeth yellow and creating bad breath, the nicotine in cigarettes has a negative effect on the enamel of your teeth and can cause cavities to form more easily.  Smoking has also been linked to gum disease and tooth loss.

DO make an appointment with us at Cornerstone Family DentistryOne of the best things you can do for your oral health is to visit your dentist twice a year for a checkup and professional cleaning.  We would love for you to make an appointment with us here at Cornerstone Family Dentistry so that we can give you a healthy and beautiful smile.