No doubt you already know the basics of good oral hygiene, including:
- Brushing twice daily
- Flossing… and we mean daily, not just for the two weeks prior to a visit with your family dentist (yes, we know your secrets)
- Regular dental visits – at least once a year, and more if your dental insurance allows for it
Why stop at three when there are so many more habits that will improve your overall dental health. Here are 6 of the more lesser-known tips to achieve optimal oral health. It is important to note that while these may be lesser known, they are not less important.
1. Use a soft-bristled brush
Hard brushers… you probably know them; you may even be one. Those are the people who think that the harder they brush, the cleaner their teeth. Well, the truth is that if you brush too hard, or two frequently, you may do more harm than good. Your teeth have a protective layer called enamel and if you brush too hard, or too often, you are at risk of damaging that enamel, leaving your teeth vulnerable to bacteria.
2. Avoid sugary drinks and reach for water
Sugary drinks play a part in enamel erosion, which we learned above leaves the teeth open to harmful bacteria. So, do your teeth a favour and skip the sugary drinks, reaching for water instead. If you do have soda or fruit juice, rinse your mouth with water right after to remove some of the sugar lingering on your teeth.
3. Dental Sealants
Talk with your family dentist in South Edmonton about applying a thin coating (the sealant) to cover the pits and grooves of your teeth, protecting them from decay. The process is simple, pain free and you won’t even notice a difference.
4. Clean your whole mouth: tongue and cheeks too
Great job on cleaning your teeth (bonus points if you brush for the whole two minutes); but did you know that bacteria also lives on your gums and tongue? While you are brushing your teeth, spend some time to ensure you are brushing all areas of the mouth!
5. Eat your greens
Your mouth is no different than the rest of your body, meaning that it benefits from overall health. Eating a diet rich with whole foods, vegetables, fruits and omega-3 fats, promotes healthy gums and dental health.
6. Change your toothbrush every 3 to 4 months
Over time bacteria gathers on the bristles of your brush and then transfers into your mouth. By changing your toothbrush every 3 to 4 months, you are helping to remove bacteria from your mouth, not adding to it! For an easy reminder, change your toothbrush with the change of seasons.
With these few tips, your next visit to our dental office in South Edmonton should be a good one! If you want even more tips, ask at your next visit!