September is National Oral Health Month and we are here to give you some great tips to take better care of your teeth at home.
Improving your oral hygiene at home is crucial for maintaining healthy teeth and gums. Outside of your regular dental check-ups and oral hygienist cleans, there are a number of ways to maintain excellent oral health at home. Follow these guidelines and don’t hesitate to reach out to your dental team for any questions.
Here are five easy ways to enhance your oral hygiene routine:
- Brush Properly and Regularly
Brush your teeth at least twice a day, preferably in the morning and before bed. Use a good-quality toothpaste with fluoride to strengthen tooth enamel and prevent cavities. Fluoride strengthens teeth and reduces your risk of cavities by approximately 25%. It also remineralises your tooth enamel and could reverse early tooth decay. Brush for at least two minutes each time, using gentle, circular motions. Don’t forget to brush your tongue to remove bacteria and freshen your breath.
2. Floss Daily
Flossing helps remove food particles and plaque from between your teeth and along the gumline. Floss at least once a day using a gentle back-and-forth motion. Be careful not to snap the floss, as this can damage your gums. Water Flossers are becoming more and more easily available for purchasing for at-home use. Ask your local pharmacy for options. (Click here for Waterpik, available at Dis-Chem).
3. Rinse with Mouthwash
Using an antimicrobial or fluoride mouthwash can help kill bacteria, freshen your breath and strengthen teeth. Rinse according to the product instructions. Some mouthwashes are used before brushing, while others are used after. Ask your dentist for the best recommended mouthwash.
4. Limit Sugary Snacks and Beverages
Sugary foods and drinks can contribute to tooth decay. Limit your consumption of sugary snacks, sodas and juices. If you do indulge in sugary treats, try to brush your teeth afterward or at least rinse your mouth with water. This is also a great way to prevent discolouration. After every cup of coffee or tea, make sure to rinse your mouth with water.
5. Stay Hydrated and Choose Water
Drinking water throughout the day helps flush away food particles and bacteria. Water is the best beverage for your oral health, as it doesn’t contain sugars that can lead to cavities.
It’s all down to the right toothbrush!
- Choose a toothbrush with soft bristles to avoid damaging your gums and enamel.
- Replace your toothbrush or toothbrush head every three to four months or sooner if the bristles are frayed.
- Consider using an electric toothbrush, which can be more effective at removing plaque.
Remember that consistency is key when it comes to maintaining good oral hygiene. Establishing a daily routine that includes these practices will help keep your teeth and gums healthy between dental visits.
If you have specific dental concerns or conditions, such as braces, dental work or gum disease, consult your dentist for tailor-made recommendations on how to adapt your oral hygiene routine accordingly.