Regular trips to your dentist are a key part of dental care, but even more important is how you care for your smile between check-ups. Brushing your teeth morning and night does not guarantee you are giving your mouth all of the attention that it needs. Consider the following tips to help take your dental hygiene to the next level:
Brush up on your skills
A regular brushing routine forms the central part of any oral hygiene program. Brushing your teeth removes any plaque that has formed. Plaque is a mixture of bacteria, acids and food debris. Plaque forms naturally in the mouth after eating and can begin to cause damage if left on the teeth for a prolonged period of time.
Brushing for at least 2 minutes in the morning and again before bed is essential. Using a circular motion and ensuring the hard to reach areas, including molars and the gum line are all covered. Electric toothbrushes can be more effective than the manual toothbrushes and usually have a built in timer to ensure you are brushing for the recommended 2 minutes.
After brushing, it is also important to remember to floss in between your teeth. Floss removes the extra debris that brushing alone cannot reach and helps to keep our gums happy and healthy.
Use a High Fluoride Toothpaste and Disclosing Dye
The key ingredient in most toothpastes is fluoride. Fluoride is proven to prevent tooth decay. Fluoride replaces lost minerals in teeth and makes them stronger, reducing the chances of decay. Reading the label on your toothpaste will help you to understand if the toothpaste you are using has a high fluoride content or if you should consider switching. After brushing try to avoid rinsing your mouth. Leaving the toothpaste on your teeth for a little while longer will allow the fluoride more time to work.
Plaque is often difficult to see on our teeth, as it is a whitish colour. Disclosing dye in the form of tablets or liquid is available from most pharmacies. Using the dye after brushing will show you if there are any areas that you may have missed. The dye is especially great for children who tend to pay less attention to brushing correctly.
Avoid Acidic and Carbonated and Sugary Drinks
Sugary, acidic and carbonated drinks can affect the pH levels in the mouth and can cause damage to tooth enamel over time. Try switching to plain water instead of soft drinks and juice. If you do have a sugary or acidic drink, avoid brushing for 30 minutes afterwards as the drinks can soften the enamel.