When it comes to your oral health, you can never be too careful. This is because your dental health status not only affects your smile, but it can also have a direct impact on your physical health and wellbeing. Therefore, it is essential that you should know how to clean your teeth properly. The American Dental Association offers the following recommendations for keeping your teeth clean and healthy. If you think you may have gum disease please book an appointment with a dentist
- Brushing your Teeth, the Right Way
Most of us know that we should at least brush our teeth twice every day. However, many people are not aware of the correct method of brushing teeth. Therefore, many patients complain about their dentists of having cavities and gum problems even though they brush their teeth regularly. The National Institutes for Health (NIH) offers information on how to brush your teeth correctly:
- Choosing the Right Armamentarium – always choose a toothbrush with soft bristles. If you use a hard toothbrush, it can physically erode your teeth and cause gum recession. You may also want an electric toothbrush since a few studies have shown that the powered toothbrushes provide better teeth cleaning in comparison to the conventional ones. Also, you should use a toothpaste that contains the seal of approval of the American Dental Association (ADA), and preferably one which contains fluoride.
- Take your Time – the American Dental Association recommends that you should brush your teeth at least for two minutes. Failing to do say can result in improper cleaning of your teeth and can result in gum inflammation and teeth cavities. It may be useful to use a timer to make sure that your brushing time is more than two minutes.
- Using the Correct Technique – while brushing your teeth, use small circular motions and perform short back and forth brushing strokes while holding your brush at an angle of 45̊. Make sure that you also brush through the gumline; doing this will help in massaging the gums, and in removing the plaque and tartar deposits from gums. Another important think to do while brushing is to clean your tongue with the toothbrush.
- Replacing your Old Toothbrush
No matter how expensive or high-quality toothbrushes you buy, they have a limited lifetime. The American Dental Association recommends that you should replace your toothbrush after every three or four months of use. You may replace it earlier if you feel that the bristles have become frayed. If you continue using a worn-out toothbrush, it will be unable to clean your properly, and making them vulnerable to the development of cavities and gum inflammation.
- Make a Habit of Flossing
Even if you brush your teeth regularly, it may not be enough. This is because the bristles of a toothbrush may not be able to penetrate tight spaces between the teeth. This is where a floss becomes useful. Dental floss is a thread which can enter the area between two teeth and remove food and bacterial debris, thereby minimizing the chances of teeth cavities.
- The Correct Method to Use a Dental Floss – take 12-18 inches of floss or dental tap and grasp it in such a way that there are a couple of inches left between your hands. Now, slide the floss between your teeth and clean all the surfaces of the teeth and gums. Use 8-10 strokes of up and down flossing to dislodge the adherent plaque and tartar deposits in the interdental spaces.
- Using a Mouthwash
Using a fluoride containing mouthwash can go a long way in preventing teeth cavities and gum problems. However, you should make sure that you should not use a mouthwash immediately after brushing your teeth, as it can result in loss of the concentrated layer of protective fluoride which has adhered to your teeth.
Your mouth is the gateway to your body. If it is not clean or healthy, how can you expect to enjoy a healthy and active life? So, make sure you take good care of your teeth and gums through strict oral hygiene maintenance and regular dental check-up visits!