Best oral healthcare tips
You only get two sets of teeth in your life. You start losing your baby teeth at about 7 years old, and then your last adult teeth grow through at between 17 and 25 years old. These teeth have to last you for the rest of your life, so looking after them is important. Poor oral health can also lead to illnesses like heart disease, cancer, and diabetes as well as dental cavities and gum disease.
You need to brush your teeth at least twice a day to maintain good oral hygiene. Brushing just after breakfast and before you go to bed at night with either a soft or medium toothbrush using a fluoride toothpaste will get rid of the plaque and bacteria from food particles that have built up. This will greatly reduce the likelihood of cavities. You want to brush your teeth for two minutes each time you brush, and make sure you get the inner, outer, and chewing surfaces of your teeth.
Don’t forget your tongue!
It might sound weird, but brushing or scraping your tongue will greatly cut down the amount of bacteria in your mouth. Make sure you get right to the back of your tongue but be careful not to go too far. You might trigger your gag reflex, which can be very unpleasant.
Flossing is just as important as brushing and should be done every time you brush your teeth. Make sure you follow the curve of each tooth below the gum line being careful not to cut into your gum. If using floss is difficult there are a lot of tools to help you.
Visit your dentist or dental hygienist regularly
You should see a hygienist for a thorough clean, scale, polish, and check-up at least once a year. Having a professional clean your teeth will minimise the chance of developing periodontal disease (gum disease). Gum disease is the leading cause of tooth loss in adults.
The mouthwash debate
There has been some question about whether or not mouthwash is helpful when looking after your teeth. It really depends on the type of mouthwash and when in your daily dental health routine you use it.
Using an alcohol-free mouthwash with fluoride will help you fight tooth decay. If you prefer a more natural option, you can make your own mouthwash out of a teaspoon of salt and a cup of freshly boiled water.
If you decide to use mouthwash, make sure you use it before you brush your teeth, as it will wash away the fluoride-rich toothpaste that your teeth need to strengthen against cavities.
Fluoride, when used properly, is good for you
Fluoride strengthens tooth enamel, which prevents cavities. The enamel is the hard outer covering of the tooth.
When you have sugary foods and drinks the sugar combines with the bacteria in plaque to create acid, which eats away at the tooth enamel and creates a hole. More bacteria get trapped in the hole, and the decay spreads through the tooth. Brushing with fluoride toothpaste helps rebuild the tooth enamel and reverse early signs of tooth decay.