10 Tips for Oral Hygiene

Submitted on December 10, 2013
Dental hygiene doesn't have to get you down in the mouth! Here are some tips to keep those pearly whites squeaky clean.
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Good oral hygiene contributes to strong and healthy teeth. Keeping the enamel clean helps prevent cavities. Cleaning the areas where the teeth meet the gum protects against and prevents gum disease.

Here are 10 simple tips for good oral hygiene.

  1. Brush Daily: Remember to brush your teeth at least twice everyday. It’s best to get children to follow this habit from an early age.
  2. Brush Properly: It’s not enough just to brush daily. You need to practice the proper technique for effective brushing. Hold the toothbrush at an angle so that it is aimed at the part where the teeth meet the gums. Use brief back and forth movements and brush the insides as well.
  3. Clean your Tongue: Use your toothbrush or better still, a tongue scraper, to clean your tongue. This helps to remove plaque and keep your breath fresh.
  4. Use the Right Tools: Opt for a soft-bristled toothbrush which is not too harsh on the gums and fits in your mouth well. Battery operated or electric toothbrushes are known to be effective in getting rid of plaque and preventing gingivitis.

Use good quality toothpaste. You can try brushing with baking soda occasionally to remove stains. Salt also serves as a good alternative to toothpaste. It works well in case of gum tenderness.

In addition to brushing and flossing, using a mouth rinse can help to improve oral hygiene. Fluoride rinses help to prevent tooth decay. They are, however, not suitable for use in children below the age of 6. It's advisable to read the precautionary labels or seek advice from your dentist before trying out a new product.

  1. Keep your Toothbrush Clean: Clean your toothbrush after brushing and keep in an upright position until it air dries. Keeping it covered may lead to bacterial growth.
  2. Replace your Toothbrush Regularly: It's advisable to replace your toothbrush every 3 to 4 months. If you are using a battery operated or electric toothbrush, get a replacement head.
  3. Floss: Dental floss enables you to clean between the teeth, which is hard to do with a toothbrush. When flossing, take about 18 inches of dental floss and use a rubbing motion to ease it between the teeth.
  4. Eat Healthy: Your diet can also affect the health of your teeth and gums. Follow these dietary tips for healthier teeth:

    • Avoid eating too many sugary foods and drinks.
    • Get your daily dose of calcium through foods like dairy, meat and nuts.
    • Remember to brush your teeth after having acidic foods and beverages as they can contribute to tooth decay.
    • If you are unable to brush between meals, chew on sugarless gum. It helps to dislodge food trapped between the teeth.
    • Tooth decay can occur due to vitamin deficiency. To combat this, ensure that your daily diet is rich in vitamins and minerals, or speak to your doctor about taking supplements.
    • Eating apples helps to clean the tooth surfaces and get rid of food particles.
    • Avoid smoking, black tea, colas and dark gravies as these can stain your teeth.
  5. Gargle with Apple Cider Vinegar: Apple cider vinegar is a good natural substitute for mouthwash as it helps to remove discoloration and kills bacteria.
  6. See your Dentist Regularly: Go for regular dental check-ups to maintain the health of your teeth and gums. In case you detect any signs of dental problems such as swollen or red gums, bleeding while brushing, sensitivity to hot and cold or prolonged bad breath, contact your dentist to have the condition checked on as soon as possible. Tooth problems and gum disease can be treated more effectively when detected early.