Dental Hygiene Tips

How do you prevent the billions of bacteria in your mouth from causing cavities and gingivitis? Keep your mouth healthy with a few simple dental hygiene tips.

Brushing

Brushing your teeth is the foundation of good oral health. Keep these best practices in mind:

  • Brush twice a day—once in the morning and again before bed—using fluoride toothpaste and a small-headed, soft-bristled toothbrush.
  • Brush for two minutes. Spend 30 seconds in each quadrant of your mouth.
  • Hold your toothbrush at a 45-degree angle along the gum line. Use short, gentle, back-and-forth motions to scrub your teeth without irritating your gums.
  • Brush every side of each tooth, including the front, back, and biting surface.
  • Clean your tongue to get rid of bacteria that can cause bad breath.
  • Rinse your toothbrush thoroughly after each use. Store your toothbrush upright without a cover to encourage a quick dry time.
  • Wait at least 30 minutes after eating to brush your teeth.
  • Replace your toothbrush every three months.

Flossing

Even the most thorough brushing leaves bacteria in the tight spaces between each tooth and under the gum line. That’s why it’s necessary to floss once a day. Follow these tips for the best results:

  • Use a generous, 18-inch piece of floss to prevent it from slipping out of your grip.
  • Readjust the position of the floss on your fingers as you go to use fresh floss between each tooth.
  • Avoid snapping the floss against your gums. Use an up-and-down motion rather than a sawing motion to avoid hurting the soft tissue.
  • Get between every tooth and behind your rear molars.
  • If you find it difficult to floss, try a non-traditional option, such as a floss pick, interdental brush, or water flosser.

Mouthwash

Consider that your teeth make up less than half of the surfaces in your mouth. Rinsing cleans your mouth by removing biofilm and bacteria that brushing and flossing leave behind. Just remember these tips:

  • Mouth rinse isn’t a substitute for brushing and flossing. However, it can supplement your other dental hygiene efforts to reduce the chance of cavities and infections.
  • Select a mouth rinse with antimicrobial properties to reduce bacteria and plaque activity.
  • Look for fluoride on the ingredient label to protect your teeth from decay.
  • Consider a whitening peroxide rinse to fight tooth discoloration and staining.

Bonus Dental Hygiene Tips

In addition to your formal dental hygiene routine, incorporate these tips into your everyday life:

  • Drink more water and less sweetened drinks, including juice and soda.
  • Avoid sweet and acidic foods that erode tooth enamel.
  • Chew sugarless gum after meals to stimulate saliva flow, wash away food particles, and neutralize the pH in your mouth.

For more dental hygiene tips, or to ask questions about your oral health, please contact Glenwood Premier Dental at (732) 264-4477. Our dentist in Hazlet can answer your questions and provide expert dental care.

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