We all know that good dental hygiene is important. Sounds easy, right?  Not always so.  There are lots of confusing information out there and the steps to achieve good oral hygiene are not always clear.  Let us make it easy for you.  Our dental professionals at Lancaster Dental in Kitchener give you 6 simple steps to follow.  These are easy and effective tips that anyone can follow so that they feel good about their dental hygiene.

STEP 1: BRUSH YOUR TEETH

Brushing is crucial to maintaining good dental hygiene.  Don’t believe us?  According to the American Dental Association (ADA) everyone should brush at least two times a day for a minimum of 2 minutes each time.  We recommend using a soft toothbrush with a compact head.  It’s important to follow proper technique as well:

  1. Place your toothbrush at about 45-degree angle to the gums
  2. Use short, gentle strokes (avoiding scrubbing!)
  3. Brush all surfaces: outer, inner, and chewing surfaces.

If you choose to use an electric toothbrush your technique will vary. Make sure you follow the manufacturer’s recommendations and if still uncertain discuss with your dental hygienist or dentist.

STEP 2: FLOSS

Flossing is Definity one of the top steps on our list.  Flossing helps to prevent tooth decay (especially between our teeth) and helps to maintain the health of our gums which are both important to overall oral health. When flossing make sure that the floss tightly hugs your tooth and gently slide it beneath the gum line as well. Also, always remember to floss the backside of your last tooth in each corner of the mouth.  A quick flossing demonstration can be found at: https://www.colgateprofessional.com/education/patient-education/video-library/daily-flossing-technique

Remember, practice makes perfect.

STEP 3: CLEAN YOUR TONGUE

Bacteria not only builds up on our teeth.  Bacteria and other particles can build up on your tongue as well. This can cause bad breath (halitosis) and discolouration on our tongue.  There are two main options for cleaning your tongue: brushing and scraping.

If you decide to use a toothbrush, you should start at the very back of the tongue and gently work forward all the way to the tip. Make sure you brush the entire top surface of the tongue and rinse your mouth after.

Alternatively, you can use a tongue scraper. To do so you should stick your tongue out, place the scraper at the back of the tongue and with light pressure move it towards the front.  Rinse the scraper and repeat if needed. Always rinse your mouth after and rinse the scraper before you store it.

Step 4: USE MOUTHWASH

We recommend using a mouthwash daily. Therapeutic mouth rinses can help to reduce plaque, tooth decay, inflammation of gums, and bad breath. They can also help to manage dry mouth.  We know that there are lots of options out there and we would be happy to give you a more specific recommendation based on your needs.  For now, to make it easier for you, we suggest looking for an alcohol-free rinse that has the ADA Seal of acceptance.

Step 5: AVOID SUGARY AND ACIDIC FOODS AND DRINKS

A well-balanced diet is necessary for good health and wellness. Proper nutrition is not only a vital part of overall health but it is also critical in maintaining good oral health. A diet high in sugar and acidic foods and beverages contributes to tooth decay (cavities).  Some easy tips to keep in mind: drink plenty of water, limit snacking (if you do snack try to choose a healthy option like veggies, fruit, or cheese), and avoid drinking pop and juice.

 Step 6: VISIT THE DENTIST

Having regular dental checkups and cleanings should never be neglected. Your everyday dental hygiene routine should be complemented with a professional examination and cleaning.  At Lancaster Dental we would be pleased to provide you with a thorough dental examination and cleaning and if needed a comprehensive treatment plan. Our team will be happy to assess your dental hygiene and help you achieve and maintain a beautiful smile and excellent oral health.

Taking care of our health is not always easy but we all know how important it is.  We hope that with these 6 steps you will be able to improve your dental hygiene and overall oral health. Remember if you have any questions or need help we are here for you.  Please don’t hesitate to contact our great team at Lancaster Dental in Kitchener.