Good Dental Hygiene Practices
A healthy mouth ensures that teeth will be strong and visually appealing, gums will be healthy, and there will be fresh breath. The key to having a healthy mouth is having good dental hygiene. Here are the core components of good dental hygiene.
Good dental hygiene involves brushing twice daily with a fluoride toothpaste and a soft bristled brush, cleaning between the teeth using interdental cleaners or floss once a day, and rinsing with an antimicrobial mouth rinse after brushing and cleaning.
Proper brushing involves placing the brush against the gum at a 45 degrees angle and moving it in short, gentle strokes across the teeth. The chewing surfaces along with the outer and inner surfaces of the teeth should be brushed. For the front teeth, the brush’s tip should e used on the inside with a gentle stroke up and down. Bacteria can grow on the tongue and cause bad breath, so the tongue should also be brushed.
Cleaning between the teeth with floss is done with 18 inches of floss wound around both middle fingers and held with the forefingers and thumbs. The floss is gently moved between the teeth and curved around the tooth when it meets the gum line. Then the floss is moved vertically while sticking closely to the tooth’s shape. The floss is used to rub the tooth’s side while being held against it and then with up and down motions, it’s moved from the gums. This is repeated for each tooth, and if done with an interdental cleaner like a floss pick, then the method is virtually the same, except that there is nothing to wrap around the fingers.
When rinsing the mouth after brushing and flossing, a small measured amount antimicrobial rinse is put into the mouth. Mouth rinses usually come with a cap or measuring cup that indicates how much to use, along with instructions printed on the bottle. The rinse is then moved around the mouth and pulled through the teeth and into every section to access any areas where bacteria can grow. This is usually done for a minute, and then the rinse is spat out. Mouth rinses usually aren’t recommended for children 6 and under because of swallowing hazards.
Additionally, some dietary measures can be taken to ensure good dental hygiene. Consumption of sweetened drinks and sugary snacks can be lessened to prevent bacteria growth and tooth decay. If sweetened drinks must be consumed, a straw can keep as much of them from coming in contact with the teeth as possible. Fluoridated water consumed with meals can wash away acids and sugar from these beverages
Everyone should practice good dental hygiene each day. The payoff is a healthy mouth that will look and smell great. One of the top Greenbelt Dentist, Dr. John Powers, recommends keeping up with these practices if you want to keep your beautiful smile!