One of the best things that you can do to improve your long-term oral health prognosis is to optimize your daily oral hygiene routine. You are the frontline of defense against harmful oral bacteria, cavities, and periodontal disease.
Our Saint Louis dentists are here with some simple yet effective things that you can do every day in order to refresh your smile.
Obviously, the first thing to do is to follow all of your dentist’s recommendation for brushing, flossing, and using mouth rinse. The ADA’s general guidelines include brushing morning and night, and flossing every night before brushing. Talk to your dentist if you need more customized recommendations to suit your specific needs.
The next thing to do is to make sure that you are drinking plenty of water throughout the day. Staying hydrated is crucial for your whole-body health, and it improves your oral health, in particular. When you drink enough water, your body is able to produce saliva, which helps to neutralize bacteria and re-mineralize enamel. Patients who suffer from dry mouth have increased risks of gum disease, dental cavities, and chronic bad breath.
Speaking of water, try to vigorously rinse your mouth with water after eating or drinking (anything other than H20). This simple habit helps to dislodge dental debris and plaque, and it minimizes the amount of weakening acid—from fruit juices and soft drinks, for example—that is able to coat your dental enamel.
It’s also important to pick the right tools for cleaning your smile. Pay attention, for example, to the type of toothbrush bristle you’re using; most people will do well with a soft-bristled brush. Medium and hard bristles can actually lead to dental enamel erosion and weaken your smile. Talk to your dentist if you aren’t sure what type of toothbrush is right for you. In the same vein, do not use harsh objects like metal or wooden toothpicks to clean between teeth, as these can inadvertently cause oral tissue damage.
If you want to learn more about caring for your smile at home, please feel free to contact our Saint Louis dentists!