Your teeth are key sensory organs and the enamel is among the most durable, hardest tissues in the human body. In order to maintain a healthy balance in your mouth, you must uphold dental hygiene and a series of healthy habits to have healthy teeth and a brilliant smile.
A lot of people globally, however, consider dental care to be a boring chore and something that can be neglected.
Unfortunately, the UK also has room for improvement when it comes to oral care as the NHS is said to have spent £3.4 BILLION in 2018 on children’s dental care.
And if that staggering amount of money doesn’t phase you, think about the potential inconvenience and maybe even pain that you could be avoiding by simply focusing on prevention and learning about all the things you could do for a healthy set of teeth.
Do you want to find out the best dental hygiene tips?
We have collated the following 15 ways you can keep your teeth super healthy and protected:
Brushing twice a day
It should be self-explanatory that brushing your teeth in the morning is quite important. By default, there’s a healthy microbe environment in your mouth, this includes bacteria.
Bacteria help break down food in your food and these little recycling machines have waste, just like many things in the human body.
When you sleep, your saliva production is significantly reduced but these little bacteria keep working and if you don’t brush your teeth in the morning, you leave a whole night’s work (“funk”) in your mouth.
The same goes for your evening teeth brushing exercise. You don’t want to go to bed without giving your teeth a good clean.
Brushing with good technique
It is not only the frequency of brushing, but also the technique that can help you looking after your oral hygiene.
DON’T do back and forth sawing-like motion as it can lead to something called overbrushing and enamel damage.
Instead, try gentle circular and sweeping motions touching the gum line as well as the tooth surface from the back of your mouth with the molars and slowly making your way to the front.
Repeat this for both sides, left and right, upper and lower sections.
We already mentioned bacteria working away decomposing food particles and they love to hang out on the tongue. You may be doing a small disservice to yourself if you don’t gently finish your routine with some light tongue brushing, removing some unwanted bacteria.
Brushing your gum line
Your dentist will give you a good pat on the back if you also include the gum line in your circular motions with your toothbrush. The fact of the matter is that besides the tongue, bacteria can also be found on the gum.
Gingivitis is a form of gum infection caused by bacteria and if you do the above, you can avoid sensitive gum lines, bloody spit and some mild discomfort.
Believe it or not but the origins of flossing (and we are not talking about the dance the cool kids are doing nowadays) go back to the early 19th century.
Basically, it is a healthy habit that people have been doing for more than 200 years and it is definitely one of the important things you can do to prevent cavities and all sorts of gum problems too.
Using toothpaste with fluoride content
Fluoride is a naturally occurring mineral that is used to strengthen the enamel on the surface of your teeth. It’s an important shield that fights against various things as a last line of defence.
If you use toothpaste or other dental care products that contain fluoride, you are doing a good thing and being responsible for your dental health.
Dental check-up every 6 months
You don’t have to go and see your dentist too often throughout the year IF you are looking after your teeth, but even if you pay distinguished attention to your dental hygiene, you should still make appointments every 6 months.
These would be excellent opportunities to prevent anything to deteriorate or to spot if you should see a hygienist to remove some tartar from your teeth.
Consuming dairy products
If you can, should eat dairy products in moderation as they are an excellent source of protein and hydroxyapatite, the latter of which also strengthens the enamel.
Basically, a balanced diet containing some dairy products can naturally help you enforce an important tissue in your body.
It is one of greatest mysteries as to why man still smokes cigarettes. Besides the fact that they cause cancer, they wreak havoc on your teeth too. Give you a bad breath.
And if this wasn’t enough it gives your teeth a horrible discolouration.
The science is simple on this: DO NOT SMOKE.
Limit sugary and acidic foods/drinks
If we said we never had a chocolate bar or enjoyed a lovely glass of vino, we wouldn’t exactly be truthful. But sugary and acidic foods and drinks causing damage to your teeth is a fact, however.
Try to consume delicacies rich in sugars rarely as when it is broken down by “mouth bacteria” it is like an artillery barrage on your enamel.
We don’t have to go too much into the details why we wouldn’t advise you to suck on lemons on a regular basis either. While rich in Vitamin C for instance, too much citric acid is definitely not good for your teeth.
Avoid teeth grinding
This is not something we would immediately think of when discussing dental hygiene, but it is important to mention from a holistic perspective.
Teeth grinding is typically caused by stress and anxiety and the underlying cause is not something the dental medicine can address directly, its effect on your teeth can be devastating.
Seek out help and counselling to address the root causes of teeth grinding and your body and mouth will be grateful.
Crisps are delicious snacks that go well on a rainy evening, watching your latest series or a great movie. The problem is that they contain a lot of starch, or in other cases maybe sugar that again get stuck in between your teeth.
We are fallible. We snack sometimes. We recommend you limit these for the sake of your teeth.
Avoid oral piercings
If you have a tongue piercing you are definitely braver than we are as we surely would have passed out. Kudos to you, you are a brave person.
From a dental perspective, however, we’ve got some bad news for you. No matter how careful you are, the metal does get knocked about in your mouth against the enamel.
These small clashes do damage your teeth slightly and if you’re super careful about your dental hygiene, you may want to consider losing the piercing.
Consider using an oral irrigator device
Your gums often don’t receive enough tender loving care while your teeth are basking in the glow of attention.
If you neglect your gum line you could contract an infection leading to gingivitis.
In more serious cases you could develop periodontitis, which you definitely want to avoid.
According to a study in relation with oral irrigators ,the usage of such devices can significantly help in the prevention of gum diseases.
Limit carbs to help your microbes
Several tips above we mentioned you should limit your sugar intake to the best of your abilities. Going further into dietary topics, you should actually try and restrict your carbohydrate consumption as well, especially the processed kind.
According to an interesting study, thanks to evolution, your mouth already has a microbe ecosystem that is fighting against bacteria residing in the biofilm covering your teeth (aka plaque).
But carbohydrates give food/energy to bad-acting bacteria and your evolutionary oral defence force has to work extra hard to protect your teeth.
A few final thoughts
We are big believers of patient education and prevention so we thought the aforementioned tips on dental hygiene can help millions to lead a healthier life and protect an important but sometimes neglected organ: the teeth.
Should you have any questions about any of these, visit your local dentist or shoot us a message via our contact page.
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What is your favourite tip from the list?