Your dental hygiene routine is directly related to your health. Dental hygiene is an extremely important aspect to stay on top of, especially because the health of your teeth, mouth and gums can affect important bodily organs and systems, such as your heart and immune system. Decay can lead to gum disease, gum disease can lead to various infections, and infections can lead to other health issues, some of which can be very critical. Because dental hygiene plays such as important part in your life, you have to develop strong habits (and stop a few bad ones!) to get the most out of your routine.
5 Dental Hygiene Habits to Stop Today
Before we discuss dental hygiene habits you should start, there are quite a few common bad habits that should be addressed. These bad habits either do nothing for your dental hygiene or can cause damage to your teeth. See below:
Are you using the wrong toothbrush and toothpaste?
Your toothbrush should be shaped according to your mouth and softer, not abrasive. Abrasive toothbrushes can scrape your enamel and are not providing a healthy clean. The same principle applies to toothpaste. Too many toothpastes are rough and abrasive, scrubbing your teeth instead of cleaning them and leaving them healthy. Search for a toothbrush with soft bristles (don’t use one that’s too small or too big for your mouth!) and for toothpaste that’s not gritty.
Brushing too hard
Many times, we are in a hurry when we brush our teeth, which causes us to brush very quickly and very fervently and then..too forcefully. Forcing the bristles against your teeth and scrubbing them can cause erosion of your tooth enamel. This wear can be permanent and can weaken your teeth.
You should know by now – soda and other types of sugary drinks are packed with sugars and chemicals that wear away your teeth and cause decay.
Always remember to floss! What’s between your teeth is just as damaging as what’s on them. Flossing rids of a lot of bacteria and items that brushing cannot.
Using teeth as tools
It sounds funny, but so many of us use our teeth to open packages, break foods or break packages. This is a horrible idea! Not only are we weakening our teeth when we do this but this can lead to breakage, cracking, or damaged dental work.
5 Dental Hygiene Habits to Start Today
Brushing at least twice a day
It deserves to be reiterated – brushing at least twice a day is one of the only ways to clean your teeth and mouth of foods, particles and bacteria that has shown up throughout the night and day. You do not want to go to bed with particles in your mouth that could lead to tooth decay.
Using toothpaste/mouthwash with fluoride
Fluoride strengthens enamel and protects your teeth from decay. You don’t want to use too much, but making sure your toothpaste and mouthwash has fluoride is the one of the smartest ways to take care of your teeth. There is fluoride in much of American water systems but in some where there isn’t, it’s smart to utilize dental hygiene products with the chemical.
Rinse after meals
After eating or snacking, rinsing or chewing sugar-free gum can help develop saliva that naturally cleans your teeth and fights decay. You do not have to brush after meal, as this isn’t convenient for some, but rinsing or chewing sugar-free gum will provide a jolt of cleanliness to your mouth after eating.
Many foods provide a lot of health benefits for your teeth, just as some are actually bad for your teeth. Citrus isn’t actually very beneficial for your tooth enamel, for example. However, well-balanced diet of whole grains and calcium-rich foods can strengthen your overall gum health and allow your teeth and gums to fight decay and disease.
Visit the dentist regularly
Visiting the dentist at least twice a year helps to keep your teeth professionally clean and taken care of. In addition, visiting the dentist frequently allows him or her to catch issues that may be occurring before they get worse, such as cavities, which can lead to other problems. If you have any teeth pain or discomfort, you should see a dentist immediately. These can be signs of bigger issues.