The best and easiest way to keep your teeth clean, healthy and strong is to observe good dental hygiene. Daily brushing of teeth, however, is not enough to maintain dental hygiene, especially if you do not know how to brush your teeth properly. Here are six simple tips on achieving good dental hygiene.
1. Proper Brushing
Position the bristles at an angle of 45 degrees near the gum line. Both the gum line and the tooth surface should be in contact with the bristles. Brush the outer surfaces of the teeth using a back-and-forth, up-and-down motion. Note that this step should be done gently in order to avoid bleeding. To clean the inside surfaces of the teeth and gums, place the bristles at a 45-degree angle again and repeat the back-and-forth, up-and-down motion. For the inner surfaces of the front row of teeth, position the brush vertically and make up-and-down strokes. Brush the biting surfaces of your teeth, particularly your molars, with a back-and-forth motion. Lastly, brush the surfaces of your tongue and the roof of your mouth to remove bacteria, which might cause bad breath.
Try to brush at least twice a day to prevent acid buildup from the breakdown of food by bacteria. However, if your work or activities prevent you from doing this, thoroughly rinse your mouth with water after eating to minimize the amount of food that would serve as substrate for the bacteria.
2. Choosing a Toothpaste
Fluoride is the main substance that keeps teeth strong and helps prevent tooth decay. A study shows that worn-out toothbrush bristles have little impact on the incidence of tooth decay. It is the fluoride content of toothpaste that really fights tooth decay.
While brushing cleans the accessible surfaces of the teeth, flossing can help you remove food particles and other detrimental substances by allowing you to clean between your teeth. Dentists recommend flossing at least once daily.
4. Healthy Eating
Large quantities of sugars in food can give you tooth decay. This is because the bacteria in the mouth prefer sugars as their food substrates. When they break down these sugars, they produce acids, and this leads to plaques and dental carries. Try to keep your consumption of sugar-rich foods to a minimum. Try to brush your teeth soon after you eat sugary foods in order to prevent acid formation.
5. Avoiding Excessive Tea and Coffee Consumption
Drinking too much coffee or tea can make your teeth yellow and can cause bad breath. It is therefore advisable to drink water or rinse your mouth with water after your tea or coffee intake to prevent the yellowing of your teeth.
6. Avoiding Smoking and Alcohol Drinking Habits
Smoking can cause bad breath and teeth discoloration. Drinking alcohol can lead to dental problems, because alcohol is a strong chemical. These two habits also increase your risk of cancers, such as oral cavity, esophageal and nasopharyngeal cancers. Therefore, avoid these habits for the benefit of your teeth and your body in general.