To keep teeth and gums healthy, good dental hygiene is required. It entails practices such as brushing twice a day and visiting the dentist on a regular basis. Your dentist will be thorough during your cleaning and exam, but between dentist visits, there is a lot you can do.

Oral health as a whole, on the other hand, is about more than cavities and gum disease. There is a link between the health of a person’s mouth and their general health, according to research. Oral health issues can lead to other, more serious health problems. 

Tooth decay and gum disease, if left untreated, can cause discomfort, self-confidence issues, and tooth loss. 

Proper dental care, both at home and at the dentist’s office, can help you avoid these issues. Here are some of the most effective ways to keep your teeth and gums healthy.

1. Brushing should be done on a regular basis, but not excessively

dentist and dental assistant in front of fountain - Piney Orchard Dental, Anne Arundel Dentist
Dr. Greene and Candy from Piney Orchard Dental

Brushing teeth twice a day is one of the most important habits for removing plaque and bacteria and keeping teeth clean, as most people are aware. Brushing, on the other hand, is only successful when you apply the proper technique.

Brushing should be done in small circular motions, with the front, rear, and top of each tooth being brushed. It takes between 2 and 3 minutes to complete this operation. Be sure to avoid back-and-forth sawing motions.

Brushing too forcefully or with a firm-bristled toothbrush can damage tooth enamel and gums. Tooth sensitivity, permanent damage to the protective enamel of the teeth, and gum erosion are all possible side effects.

The American Dental Association (ADA) recommends soft-bristled toothbrushes. They also recommend that consumers replace their toothbrushes every three months or when the bristles begin to fray, whichever occurs first.

2. Fluoride can help your teeth between dentist visits

Fluoride is derived from the element fluorine, which is found in the earth’s soil. Fluoride is a frequent element in toothpaste and mouthwash because many experts say it helps prevent cavities.

Some dental products, on the other hand, don’t include fluoride, and some people don’t use it at all.

Still, even if a person takes good care of their teeth, evidence suggests that a lack of fluoride can lead to tooth decay. 

3. Floss at least once a day

Flossing can remove plaque and bacteria from between the teeth, which a toothbrush cannot reach. It can also aid in the prevention of bad breath by eliminating debris and food stuck between the teeth.

The floss should be softly pushed all the way down to the gumline before hugging the side of the tooth with up-and-down motions, according to most oral health professionals. It’s vital to avoid snapping the floss between the teeth, as this can cause pain and reduce the effectiveness of plaque removal.

Be sure to continue flossing regularly between dentist visits.

4. Go to the dentist on a regular basis

Experts recommend that patients visit a dentist for a checkup every six months. A hygienist will clean your teeth and remove plaque and tartar during a basic dental examination.

The dentist will look for cavities, gum disease, mouth cancer, and other oral health problems. They may also utilize dental X-rays to check for cavities on occasion.

According to the findings of a recent study, children and teenagers should visit the dentist every six months to help avoid cavities. Adults who exercise daily dental hygiene and have a minimal risk of oral health concerns, on the other hand, may be able to go less regularly.

People can talk to their dentist about how often they should have their teeth checked. Depending on a person’s health history, age, and overall dental health, the answer may differ. Anyone who observes changes in their mouth, however, should see a dentist.

5. Quit smoking (not just between dentist visits)

Smoking harms the immune system, making it difficult for the body to heal soft tissues, including those in the mouth. The CDC lists smoking as a risk factor for gum disease, while the ADA warns that smokers may have a slower recovery time following a dental operation.

Smoking also has an adverse effect on the mouth’s look, causing yellowing of the teeth and tongue, as well as giving breath a foul stench.

6. Sugary and starchy foods should be avoided

Sugar consumption can cause cavities. Sugar continues to play a substantial influence in poor dental health outcomes. Candy and pastries are common culprits, but many processed foods also include added sugar.

Sugar should not account for more than 10% of a person’s daily calorie consumption, according to the World Health Organization. Studies have shown lowering this to 5% would further minimize the incidence of cavities and other oral issues.

Starchy meals like crackers, bread, chips, and spaghetti can trigger tooth decay. These meals stay in the mouth and break down into simple sugars, which acid-producing bacteria feed on. This acid can cause tooth decay.

Instead of starchy carbohydrates, the ADA recommends consuming plenty of fiber-rich fruits and vegetables, as well as low-sugar dairy products.

7. Instead of sugary drinks, have water

The most common source of added sugars to our bodies is sugar-sweetened beverages.

Drinking soda, juice, or other sugary beverages can increase your risk of cavities.

The ADA recommends drinking water or unsweetened tea throughout the day and consuming sugar-sweetened beverages only at mealtimes and in small amounts. Follow these sugary drinks up with a swish of water to reduce residual sugar from remaining on your teeth.

This is aa good best-practice in general, not just between dentist visits.

Piney Orchard Dental Welcomes You

Here at Piney Orchard Dental, we are here to teach you how to take care of your mouth! 

Good dental hygiene can help a person’s teeth and gums stay healthy from childhood through maturity. Brushing and flossing regularly, quitting smoking, eating a healthy diet, and seeing a dentist on a regular basis can all help people avoid cavities, gum disease, and other dental problems. It could also be beneficial to your general health, so be sure to stay up with your dental hygiene between dentist visits.

Get in touch and we can talk about an oral hygiene plan for you.