A regular, strong oral hygiene routine is the key to having healthy teeth and gums, now and into the future. If you’re looking for the best way to avoid problems with your teeth, as well as issues such as bad breath, then getting into a regular positive oral hygiene routine will be key.
Brush your teeth at least twice a day
The traditional advice is to brush once in the morning and once in the evening when you have finished eating and drinking for the day. Hold the brush at a 45-degree angle against the gums and then move back and forth gently in tooth-wide strokes. It’s important to avoid brushing too hard because this can erode the gum line and may cause pain and bleeding.
Change your toothbrush regularly
Once the bristles wear down on a toothbrush it becomes almost completely ineffective, which is why it’s so important to ensure that you change your toothbrush regularly. If you notice the bristles are frayed then get a new toothbrush straight away. Otherwise, you should plan to buy a new brush every three or four months.
Make sure you have the right equipment
Toothbrushes come in a variety of different types, from soft bristles through to electric toothbrushes. Ask your dentist what the right type of toothbrush is likely to be for your mouth – for example, you may need soft bristles if your gums are starting to recede. You’ll also need to have a fluoride toothpaste and you may also want to consider using mouth wash after you brush.
Don’t forget to floss
Flossing can help to remove plaque from teeth, as well as any food that has become stuck and could cause bacteria to spread. Start with around 18 inches of floss and then gently guide this between your teeth, one tooth at a time. The idea is to work your way along the floss so that you have fresh floss for each tooth.
When you should see your dentist
If you experience any of the following issues then it may be that your oral hygiene routine has let you down and it’s time to get some professional help.
- Gums that bleed when you floss or brush
- Loose teeth
- Gums that are tender to the touch and which feel red and swollen
- Tooth sensitivity to hot or cold food or drink
- Mouth ulcers that don’t go away
- Issues when swallowing