Achieving and maintaining a healthy mouth requires dedication each day. Beyond just brushing and flossing, we can support oral wellness daily in many small ways. Here are some tips from Birmingham dental hygienists for keeping your teeth and gums healthy between appointments. Read on for simple habits that make a big difference.
Tip 1: Brush gently but thoroughly
While brushing is crucial, scrubbing too aggressively can damage enamel and irritate gums over time according to dental hygienists. Use a soft-bristled brush and be sure to brush all surfaces – front, back, top and bottom. Spend extra time on areas where staining and plaque buildup occur like the back molars and along the gumline. Set a timer for two minutes to ensure you brush thoroughly. Let the brush do the work – no need to apply heavy pressure.
Tip 2: Floss at least once a day
Flossing is essential for cleaning in between teeth where a toothbrush can’t reach. Food particles and bacteria build up between teeth, which brushing alone does not remove. Dental hygienists recommend flossing at the end of each day. Gently work the floss between each tooth, curving it around the base near the gums. Take your time and do not rush this step. Consistent flossing reduces plaque buildup and inflammation.
Tip 3: Monitor caffeine and alcohol intake
Beverages like coffee, soda and alcohol can stain teeth and leave them more vulnerable to decay. Caffeine and acids in these drinks strip away enamel over time. Alcohol also dries out the mouth, allowing more bacteria growth. While giving up your morning espresso may not be realistic, be mindful of how frequently you consume stain-causing beverages. Rinse with water after drinking them to help neutralise acids.
Tip 4: Chew sugar-free gum after eating
Chewing gum stimulates saliva flow in the mouth. This helps wash away food debris and neutralise acids produced by foods and drinks. Look for sugar-free gum varieties, as sugar feeds the bacteria you want to suppress. Chew for 5-10 minutes after eating or drinking anything sugary or acidic. The extra saliva production will help strengthen and remineralise enamel.
Tip 5: Eat crunchy fruits and veggies
Crunching on fruits and vegetables like carrots, celery and apples provides a natural cleaning for teeth. The abrasive textures help scrub away buildup on teeth while the extra saliva produced washes it away. Snack on crunchy produce daily to supplement your regular brushing and flossing routine.
Tip 6: Drink plenty of water
Staying hydrated is key for saliva production, which helps neutralise acids and wash away food particles. Make it a habit to drink water throughout the day, especially first thing in the morning and after food and drinks. Avoid constantly sipping sugary beverages, as this feeds decay-causing bacteria. Fluoridated water provides an extra enamel strengthening benefit.
Tip 7: See your dentist and hygienist regularly
Even with diligent at-home care, seeing a dental professional regularly is essential for thorough cleanings, early detection of issues and preventive care. Your dentist and hygienist can spot problems you may miss and provide tailored guidance for better home care. Follow their recommended schedule for examinations and cleanings. Be sure to book an appointment before you have pain or discomfort.
By adopting these simple tips into your daily oral care routine, you can dramatically improve and maintain your dental health between professional visits. Establishing small but impactful habits will keep your smile looking and feeling its best. See your dental hygienist Birmingham for a thorough assessment to maintain proper oral health.