At home oral hygiene, together with regular checkups at your dentist for hygiene sessions and a nice deep cleaning are the most important parts of keeping your teeth healthy. If these things are taken seriously, you can keep your teeth healthy and functioning indefinitely. While genetics and accidents do play a role in oral hygiene, and teeth do start to fall out eventually, keeping these 4 tips in mind will help you get the most out of the teeth you already have.
The importance of toothpaste
While we all know that toothpaste is important, few us realize just how incredibly crucial it is to a healthy oral environment. Different kinds of toothpaste have different amounts of fluoride, calcium, and lesser minerals and salts that help the tooth enamel keep strong and healthy. Talk to your dentist about which toothpaste and what concentration of minerals is right for you, as what your teeth need depends on diet and lifestyle as much as on inheritance and pre existing dental and medical conditions. Flavour and texture are also very important, as they can mean the difference between a chore done half heartedly, and an enjoyable time of day.
Swishing toothpaste around with an inadequate toothbrush for a minute or so each night is not going to help you keep your teeth, although it may make you feel better. You need to brush properly: twice a day at least, not too vigorously but firmly, for 2 minutes at a time, reaching all of the teeth, and both surfaces, the lingual and the buccal.
You should only floss the teeth that you want to keep. Dental floss is absolutely necessary in preventing tooth decay, as the bits of food that caught in your teeth after a meal will always be caught in between teeth, in the gaps. These are the places that a regular toothbrush cannot penetrate, but dental floss, or an intraoral toothbrush can. It is therefore absolutely mandatory to have one of these devices and to use them regularly.
Mouthwash is a liquid and can get underneath and around teeth, killing bacteria with ease. It is a very useful tool but should NOT be used more than twice a day, as it can also kill good bacteria in the mouth, dry out the oral mucosa and cause xerostomia or chronic dry mouth.