Your oral health care habits go a long way in determining the look, feel and functionality of your mouth. It is not enough to meet with your dentist on a semi-annual basis. A professional cleaning certainly helps yet you have to do the bulk of the work on your own. It all starts with developing effective oral health care habits.
Brushing and flossing a few times per day is not enough in and of itself. Brush at least two times per day for a full two minutes per session to prevent the buildup of plaque. Brushing twice per day also reduces the chances of tooth decay and gum disease. A thorough and frequent brushing will also ward off bad breath. Brush all sides of the teeth including the tongue and gums.
Flossing is necessary to remove those concealed food particles in your mouth that have the potential to cause tooth decay or gum disease. Floss at least once per day to prevent the formation of plaque between the teeth. The bottom line is you have to wiggle your floss between each of your teeth and gum lines if you stand any chance of enhancing your oral health. These tiny crevices cannot be cleaned by toothbrush bristles or mouthwash.
Mouthwash is essential to combat plaque as well as bad breath. Mouthwash will wash away that nasty acid and bacteria that cause tooth decay and/or gum disease.
Your dentist will likely be able to tell if you use an electric toothbrush. Today's electric toothbrushes are plaque-killers. They perform a thorough cleaning of the teeth as well as the gums. These high-tech brushes now reach speeds upwards of 30,000 strokes per minute compared to the 200 provided by manual toothbrushes.
It helps to rinse with water or mouthwash after consuming food or a sugar-laden beverage. If food residue remains on your tongue and teeth, it will eventually eat away at enamel and compromise the integrity of your teeth. So do not let food or sugary beverages remain on your teeth. Rinse your mouth after each meal and snack so you do not have to wait until it is time to brush and floss in order to clean the gunk off your teeth.
Do not consume an abundance of processed, sugary or cariogenic foods. Cariogenic foods are those that spur the formation of cavities. Sugary beverages, sweetened foods and refined carbohydrates are examples of such cariogenic foods. These foods and beverages are highly acidic. They will coat the teeth with a gross sticky film that eventually leads to plaque. Cut these harmful foods out of your diet and they will not have the chance to wear away at your tooth enamel. Opt for non-processed foods and those with natural sugars in place of the processed/artificial varieties.