You probably can’t count the number of times you’ve heard the mantra: brush and floss your teeth every day. But is that all there is to it?
Not by a long shot.
Dr. Ryan Fait and our team at Southern California General & Cosmetic Dentistry, located in Long Beach and Avalon, California, know that a truly comprehensive oral hygiene routine is more than just brushing and flossing regularly. Here’s a closer look at how you can make the most of your at-home dental care.
Make pre-bedtime brushing a priority
Though the rule of thumb has always been to brush your teeth twice daily, many still neglect oral hygiene as we shuffle off to bed. If you fail to brush your teeth before you fall asleep, all the bacteria, plaque, and food particles you’ve accumulated throughout the day stay on your teeth for hours.
Use proper technique
Second only to brushing frequency is the brushing technique. You might think that scrubbing furiously is the best way to get the job done, but we recommend that you use gentle, circular motions to remove plaque and avoid irritating your gums.
Don’t forget your tongue
Plaque doesn’t just build up on your teeth and gums — it grows on your tongue as well. Neglecting to brush your tongue leads to oral health problems and even bad breath.
Check for fluoride
Do you buy your toothpaste based on brand, flavor, or some other criteria? Most people don’t pay attention to the ingredients in their toothpaste and miss out on oral hygiene perks.
We strongly recommend using toothpaste that contains fluoride. Fluoride prevents tooth decay by acting as a protective barrier and germ fighter.
Find a way to floss
Think flossing is just for picking out little bits of food? Think again. Flossing not only complements your brush’s cleaning effort, but it stimulates your gums, removes plaque, and reduces inflammation, as well.
We understand that flossing can be frustrating and difficult at times. Do your best to incorporate flossing into your routine by using tools like ready-to-use dental flossers, and talk to us about other flossing hacks that make it easier.
If you truly want to maximize your oral hygiene routine, consider adding mouthwash to your regimen. Mouthwash is beneficial because it:
- Eliminates acid
- Cleans hard-to-brush areas
- Re-mineralizes your teeth
Want to try mouthwash but don’t know where to start? We can help you find the best mouthwash for your specific needs.
Water is without a doubt the best beverage for your overall health — and that includes your oral health. Drinking water before and after meals gives you a head start on your oral routine and helps to wash away food particles, acids, and other substances before you ever pick up your toothbrush.
Ditch acid and sugar
Acidity is among the greatest threats to your oral health because it erodes your teeth and leaves you vulnerable to cavities. Do your best to avoid acidic fruits, teas, and coffee to protect your teeth from erosion.
Sugary foods and drinks are also a threat to your oral health because sugar in your mouth eventually converts to acid.
Brush while you chew
You read that correctly. There are some crunchy fruits and vegetables that act as natural toothbrushes and actually scrub your teeth as you chew. These foods also tend to be higher in healthy fiber and give your jaw a good workout. Ask our team about the best fruits and vegetables to promote optimal oral health.
Schedule regular check-ups
All of the tips about boosting your oral health routine don’t replace the benefits of a professional cleaning from Dr. Fait. We encourage you to prioritize scheduling and keeping your biannual dental check-ups.
If you’d like more information about even more ways to maximize our oral hygiene, don’t hesitate to call our friendly staff or request an appointment online today.