In life, you only get two sets of teeth, so it is important to look after them. Healthy teeth positively contribute to your overall health and wellbeing. Oral hygiene issues like gum disease have been linked to a range of other health concerns such as heart disease, diabetes and strokes.
Brush twice a day
The best way to maintain a healthy mouth is to maintain a good oral hygiene routine. This should involve brushing twice a day and flossing at least once. These are easy steps that many people either forget to do, or don’t do properly. When you brush, it is important to use small, circular motions with only slight pressure, as you don’t want to damage the enamel. It is also important to change your toothbrush every three months to avoid a build-up of germs.
Floss once a day
When it comes to flossing, we often have patients say that they don’t floss regularly, as they feel they aren't flossing correctly. The process is actually quite simple. To begin, break off approximately half a metre of floss, wrap it around your index fingers and with the help of your middle fingers gently ease the floss up and down between the teeth.
When you reach the base of the tooth, curve the floss into a 'C' shape around the tooth making sure to get under the gumline. When doing this, it's important not to force or snap the floss, as this may cut or bruise the gums. Use a new section of floss for each tooth to help prevent the spread of bacteria. Mouthwash is also a great aid to help remove trapped food and bacteria, however, it's always best to check with your dentist before you use it. We do not recommend the use of mouthwash for those suffering from dry mouth.
Be mindful of food and drinks
Another way to maintain good oral health, is to be mindful of the food and drinks you consume. Foods that are high in sugar are bad for your teeth as bacteria feeds off the sugars in food and drinks. This bacteria sticks to your teeth and produces acids that eat away at your tooth enamel. The higher the sugar content in food, the more bacteria grows. Deep coloured food and drinks such as coffee, red wine, berries and beetroot, can stain your teeth, so it's important to drink water after eating, or to drink through a straw. If you are unhappy with the colour of your teeth, teeth whitening may be a suitable solution.
In summary, here are our top oral hygiene tips to keep your teeth and gums healthy:
- Brush twice each day and floss once. Remember that when you skip flossing, you miss over 30% of the tooth surface.
- Drink lots of water, as this helps to produce more saliva which helps to wash away the bacteria.
- Avoid snacking. Eating three main meals is better for your teeth as it reduces the opportunity for bacteria to grow.
- Drink through a straw for all deep coloured drinks.
- Rinse after each meal to wash away any trapped food. It is also good to brush after each meal however it is important to wait at least 30 minutes after eating.
- Limit foods that are high in carbohydrates and sugar content.
- Avoid smoking, as it can reduce the amount of saliva.
- Visit your dentist every six months for a regular check-up and clean.
If it’s been a while since your last check-up, please call us on 02 9534 3481 to book your next appointment.