When we say: “dental hygiene,” we’re talking about all those (seemingly) small things you can do (or avoid) to keep your teeth and gums as healthy as possible. Of course, they also help keep our smiles as bright and shiny as possible, too.
Making sure your hygiene routine is as effective as possible means understanding all the dos and don’ts of oral health so you don’t waste your time on ineffective practices or miss out on an opportunity to improve the health of your teeth and gums.
The Dos of Dental Hygiene
We’ve all heard these things repeated over and over again – but they are worth repeating at least one more time. Repetition does not reduce the value of these recommendations. Keep this list in mind and you’ll keep your teeth in great shape.
- Do: Brush your teeth at least twice a day. We recommend a soft-bristled brush and fluoride toothpaste.
- Do: Clean your tongue. While you brush your teeth, remember to give your tongue a good scrub to remove the bacteria that causes bad breath.
- Do: Regularly replace your toothbrush. Bacteria can build up on your brush, so switch it out when necessary.
- Do: Floss. Make sure you get in between your teeth at least once a day.
- Do: Keep your regular dental appointments. Your cleanings and checkups are critical to your dental health.
- Do: Eat and drink properly. Choose foods and drinks that minimize your sugar exposure.
- Do: Use mouthwash. This is useful for getting to those hard-to-reach spaces.
- Do: Drink plenty of fluids. This will help keep your mouth moist and produce saliva, which protects your teeth.
- Do: Stick to a routine. If you have a set routine, you’ll be more likely to take care of your teeth.
The Don’ts of Dental Hygiene
The don’ts are going to require a little more self-control to follow. After all, most of us really enjoy our wine, coffee, soda, and sugar-filled snacks. Reducing our intake of some of our favorite things isn’t going to be easy, but it is going to be necessary if we want to preserve our healthy teeth and gums.
- Don’t: Eat sticky, sugary foods without immediately brushing your teeth afterwards.
- Don’t: Drink too much coffee, sports drinks, wine, soda, and particularly acidic juices that can stain your teeth and harm the enamel.
- Don’t: Smoke. Tobacco products have harmful effects on your whole body, including your teeth and gums.
- Don’t: Miss hard to reach areas. Plaque likes to build up on those back teeth, so make sure you get everything with your dental hygiene routines.
- Don’t: Be overly aggressive with your brushing. It’s possible to scrub so hard that you actually wear down the enamel and cause the gums to recede.
- Don’t: Ignore your gums. Keeping your gums nice and healthy will ensure that your teeth also stay nice and healthy.
- Don’t: Rely on mouthwash for those hard-to-reach areas. Rinsing alone will never be as effective as flossing.
- Don’t: Let embarrassment stop you from seeing the dentist. We’ve seen it all, and your dental concerns won’t surprise us. Don’t put off your next appointment because you’re afraid of a lecture or judgmental looks. We just want to help you get your teeth back in shape.
Simple Rules for a Healthier Smile
While most of these dos and don’ts may seem a little simplistic or obvious, they are all extremely important for ongoing dental health. At the same time, there’s so many of them that it can be easy to forget about one or two along the way, so it may take some commitment to make sure you take care of them all.
The simple fact, though, is that if you take care of your teeth, your teeth will take care of you. So, while this may seem like a lot, it’s worth the effort to keep your smile beautiful and healthy.