It’s no secret that good oral hygiene is the key to beautiful teeth and a confident smile. However, not everyone knows how to take care of their teeth and gums.
Ignoring even basic teeth cleaning habits can lead to decay and cavities. In the US alone, over 91% of people over the age of 20 have had at least one cavity in their lives. Almost a third of adults in that age group have untreated cavities.
To avoid complications like these, we’ve listed several tips to help you clean your teeth and observe good oral hygiene:
1. Brush Your Teeth Regularly
Teeth cleaning starts with the most obvious step: brush your teeth at least twice a day.
You should make it a habit to brush once in the morning and once before going to bed. This ensures leftover food and other debris in your mouth don’t lodge in the spaces between your teeth or gums. If they stick there, the bacteria will grow and this will cause your teeth to decay.
2. Don’t Forget to Floss
Brushing your teeth is good oral hygiene but it won’t get all of the leftover food. There are tight spaces between your teeth that the bristles simply can’t reach. The solution is to floss your teeth at least once a day.
However, don’t simply stick the floss in and start rubbing. There is a proper way to floss.
It’s important to form a C-shape around each tooth and scrape off any remaining plaque. This is far more effective than a sawing motion.
3. Stop or Avoid Smoking
Tobacco is a major factor in ruining teeth. The heat and chemicals from a cigarette can stain your teeth. Cigarette smoking can also lead to oral diseases like periodontitis and throat cancer.
If you are a heavy smoker, it’s time to slowly cut down on the habit for better oral health. It’s not easy to quit smoking but there are ways to help slow things down. Seek alternatives, attend therapy, use medications, and always seek support from family and friends.
As you stop smoking, make it a point to visit your dentist for professional cleaning.
4. Increase Calcium Intake
While bones and teeth share a lot of similarities, they aren’t one-to-one the same. Bones are much weaker in comparison and the body rushes to repair broken bones. When your teeth crack or suffer from decay, you’ll need outside help from a dentist to repair or extract the tooth.
Despite the differences, both teeth and bones rely on calcium for strength. Without enough calcium, you’ll end up with tooth loss or tooth decay.
Where can you get enough calcium? Milk is the primary source for most but you can also get calcium from some leafy green vegetables, bread, and calcium-fortified cereals. Eating boned fish can also help you maintain a healthy level of calcium for your teeth.
5. Stay Away From Coffee and Sugar
Cigarettes aren’t the only things that can ruin your teeth and make cleaning difficult. Coffee, soft drinks, and sugary food are all culprits too. Coffee and tea both contain a substance called tannin, which builds up on your teeth and cause staining.
Soft drinks and sugary food, on the other hand, lead to plaque buildup. This happens when sugar combines with the bacteria in your mouth. The hardened plaque will cause teeth to rot and this can lead to cavities and other types of tooth damage.
Of course, it’s difficult for a lot of people to avoid coffee, sugary food, and soft drinks. The solution is to reduce your intake and always rinse your mouth whenever you do have some coffee or sweets.
6. Visit a Dentist For Teeth Cleaning
Proper teeth care at home can only get you so far. At some point, you’ll still need to deal with teeth stains, plaque buildup, and damaged teeth or gums. This is why you should always visit a professional dentist at least twice a year.
Your dentist will check your teeth and gums first. After an assessment, they might have to perform teeth cleaning or tooth extraction. If you have cavities but the tooth doesn’t require extraction, the dentist may fill in the hole in an attempt to save the tooth.
It’s important to regularly visit your dentist so they can check the progress of your teeth. If you have to undergo regular procedures, you might have to see your dentist more than twice a year. This is the case if you require treatment for periodontitis or if you’re getting braces.
7. Drink Water
Yes, something as simple as water can help keep your teeth clean.
As mentioned, you only really need to brush your teeth twice a day and floss them once. However, this isn’t always enough given you’ll eat lunch and other snacks throughout the day. Other food bits and debris could lodge in between your teeth and cause tooth decay, staining, and other issues.
One simple way to cut this down is to drink water. Drink and slosh the water a bit in your mouth to remove the stuff between your teeth.
8. Replace Your Toothbrush
Brushing your teeth will only get you so far. You have to use the right toothbrush for the job too. This means replacing your toothbrushing every three to four months.
Your toothbrush goes under a lot of pressure with each use.
Over time, the bristles become frayed and damaged. They won’t be able to reach into those tight spaces to clean your teeth. They can’t scrub off the bacteria resting on the surface of your teeth.
When you do replace your toothbrush, make sure to get one with bristles tough enough to clean your teeth. Soft bristle toothbrushes are for people with weak gums and sensitive teeth.
9. Rinse Your Mouth
Water is a good way to get rid of food chunks in your mouth. However, you shouldn’t forget the fact bacteria and smaller bits of food stay in your mouth too. A good way to eradicate these problems is to rinse your mouth with a mouthwash solution.
Anti-bacterial mouthwash should always be a part of your daily oral routine. Slosh a bit in your mouth in the morning and the evening, guaranteeing you get rid of bacteria for the day and before you sleep.
You can also reduce the acid in your mouth by producing more saliva. Achieve this by chewing on sugar-free chewing gum.
10. Treat Mouth Diseases Early
If you notice stains on your teeth or if you feel your gums receding, don’t delay treatment. Go to your dentist and ask if you need teeth cleaning or another type of procedure. Treat problems early before they grow and become serious conditions.
Allowing a disease to fester can lead to serious tooth decay or cavities. By then, teeth cleaning won’t help and the dentist may have to remove the tooth instead. If you end up with a condition like periodontitis, you’ll require surgery.
Regular teeth cleaning also guarantees beautiful white teeth that look and feel strong. Not only will you avoid complications but you’ll also feel more confident with your smile.
11. Don’t Forget Your Tongue
Yes, your tongue matters too. A healthy mouth should be free from bad bacteria that can damage your teeth and gums. Your tongue can become a hotbed for bacteria so it’s important to clean it too.
Some toothbrushes have a pad on the backside. Use this to scrub your tongue and get rid of the built-up bacteria. Again, chewing gum and mouthwash will help kill the bacteria that remain.
If you’ll clean your tongue, don’t forget to brush the ceiling of your mouth too. People often forget about the top but it too can become a hotbed for bacteria so scrub it once a day.
12. Manage Your Diet
Your diet can also affect your oral hygiene. Junk food, an all-meat diet, and having too much coffee or soft drinks can stain, weaken, and damage your teeth. This is why it’s important to eat healthy food like bread and vegetables too.
Crispy food choices like carrots or apples are good additions too.
They require a lot of chewing, which again increases saliva production. This helps remove bacteria and plaque. If you brush your teeth in the morning and at night, adding an apple for lunch can serve as an alternative way to clean your teeth during the day.
Attain a Bright and Beautiful Smile Today
It’s not impossible to attain beautiful teeth. Regular teeth cleaning and these healthy habits listed above guarantee healthy, beautiful, white teeth. Brush and floss regularly, stop smoking, visit your dentist and avoid food and drinks that stain or damage your teeth.
Of course, oral hygiene doesn’t end here. There is still a plethora of factors to consider and learn about.
If you’re considering getting braces or higher forms of oral surgery, you’ll need to read in-depth guides. Fortunately, everything you need is right here. Don’t hesitate to check out more of our posts to learn all you need to take better care of your teeth.