Good oral hygiene is the best weapon you can have in your arsenal when it comes to fighting dental disease and keeping your teeth and gums healthy. Here are three simple oral hygiene steps you can take to boost your oral health:
- Effective brushing: brushing is really important because it removes food debris and bacteria from the tooth surfaces; this is essential because it helps to prevent plaque from forming. Plaque is a sticky film, which forms when saliva joins food particles and bacteria together; it is the leading risk factor for decay and gum disease. Brushing technique is really important; when you brush, choose a brush with a small head and brush each surface of each tooth gently. Avoid brushing firmly, as this can damage the enamel layer. It’s best to brush once in the morning and once in the evening; always wait at least an hour after eating to brush and use fluoride toothpaste.
- Flossing: flossing has amazing benefits for your oral health, as it targets the areas that are hard to clean with a toothbrush, such as the gum line and the small cracks between the teeth. Flossing is a simple technique, but it can take a little getting used to; you simply guide a piece of tape through the cracks between the teeth and repeat for each tooth. Avoid pulling at the floss, as this can damage your gums and see your dentist if you notice that your gums are bleeding. If you don’t like flossing or you find it uncomfortable or difficult, you could also use inter-dental brushes, which are small brushes that are specially designed to clean between the teeth.
- Cleaning your tongue: your tongue harbours bacteria and this can be a major problem when it comes to dental disease and bad breath. Cleaning the tongue helps to reduce the risk of bad breath and also decrease your chances of developing decay and gum disease. You can clean your tongue with a normal toothbrush or use a tongue scraper.