When you want the best tips for keeping your teeth clean and your breath fresh, no one gives better advice than a dental hygienist! They are specially trained in the art of polishing teeth and advising dental patients on oral care.
In order to provide the best possible dental hygiene advice to our patients, we interviewed our hygienists to get the hottest tips on keeping your mouth in great shape, and we are going to share them here today.
5 Best Tips from Our Dental Hygienists
- Brush Your Mouth Properly: Notice we said mouth, not teeth. Your oral hygiene is a lot more than just your pearly whites. You need to keep your cheeks, tongue, and roof of your mouth clean as well! You’ll want to invest in a tongue scraper to clean plaque and food particles off your tongue every night, and mouthwash to rinse away the plaque that can collect on your cheeks and roof of your mouth. Of course, you also need to brush your teeth! Click here for a comprehensive guide on how to do it.
- Don’t Skip the Floss: There’s no way around it–you need to floss. Do it every day! There’s no other way to clean the plaque that gets trapped between your teeth and gum line. And if you neglect this area, pockets will start to form between your gums, creating a haven for plaque to collect. This is a condition called periodontitis, or gum disease. If caught in its early stages, periodontitis can be reversed fairy easily, but wait too long, and it can result in tooth loss.
- Eat Crunchy Fruits and Veggies and Drink Plenty of Water: Celery, carrots, and apples are great for your teeth! Not only do they scrape away plaque from the surface, but they also require vigorous chewing. The more you chew, the more saliva you produce, which helps rinse bacteria out of your mouth and neutralize acids that can harm your enamel. Likewise, staying hydrated will help your salivary glands to function at their best.
- Avoid Sugary Beverages: Do whatever it takes to give up soda. It’s just liquid candy! Sodas, sweet teas, lemonade, and other sugary drinks are harmful to your health in many ways, including your oral health. The sugar-packed liquids coat your teeth where it can feed the bacteria that live in your mouth. As the bacteria “eat” the sugar, they produce an acid that erodes your enamel over time.
- Re-mineralize Your Teeth: Throughout the day, your teeth lose important minerals. At the end of the day, it’s a good idea to leave a little bit of your fluoride toothpaste in your mouth so that your teeth can reabsorb it and stay strong. If you’d rather not keep the paste in your mouth, you can achieve the same result by rinsing with a fluoride mouthwash. Mouthwash improves your oral health threefold: it remineralizes teeth, neutralizes acids, and cleans hard-to-reach areas like your cheeks and roof of your mouth. Just make sure that for 30 minutes after you rinse you don’t eat or drink anything, even water. Doing so could rinse the fluoride away before it absorbs.
Also, don’t neglect making it into your dentist’s office every 6 months! You will get a professional cleaning, an exam, and X-ray, all of which are crucial to maintaining oral health. Plus, you’ll get a chance to get more great tips from your hygienist!