The Importance of Oral Hygiene

14 March 2022

To recognise World Oral Health Day 2022, we have put together a comprehensive guide on how you can maintain your teeth in the best possible health and condition.

How to and how many times to brush?

Most of us know or have heard about the need to brush twice a day. But did you know that there is a best way to brush? Brushing in a gentle circular motion helps break down any residual plaque in your mouth, which when hardened can contribute to gingivitis (gum disease). Don’t forget not to neglect your tongue either, as the mouth is the one part of the human body that contains the most amount of bacteria which can harbour on the tongue. In terms of best times to brush, we recommend that you brush before breakfast. Sounds weird we know, but actually it is much better practice. If you want to get the food out of your mouth once you’ve eaten, just have a drink of water. If you brush straight after food which a lot of people do, the acid in the food is helped by the brushing motion to have negative effects on enamel.

What toothpaste should I use?

Fluoride contained in your toothpaste makes the enamel on the teeth harder and more resistant to the acid which forms when eating food or consuming drinks. When the enamel on your teeth naturally replenishes, the effects of fluoride mean the hardening process is much more effective, thus protecting your teeth for longer. Try not to rinse your mouth with water straight after brushing as you’re simply washing away the fluoride. In terms of mouthwash, lots of people mouthwash straight after they brush, but actually best practice would be to leave it at least one hour after brushing, if at all. You don’t actually need to mouthwash if you have a good brushing routine combined with interdental cleansing, which we will discuss next.

What else can I use to keep my teeth whiter and brighter?

You probably will have seen many advertisements for flossing, and for mouthwash, and both are great solutions! Mouthwash reduces the amount of acid build up from eating and drinking, which in turn helps your teeth to remineralise. The biggest mistake people make with regard to mouthwash is doing it immediately after brushing. You should wait at least an hour after finishing brushing before you mouthwash. Also, ensure you use a fluoride option.

Whilst interdental cleaning solutions range in products from interdental brushes to ready-made flosses, both can really help you remove stuck in food which brushing alone may miss. Cosmetically, this even helps define the spacing between your teeth!

Drink more water

Maintaining your oral hygiene has healthier effects for your body too! Aside from balancing the Ph scale in your mouth and reducing acidity, water will keep you more hydrated. Helping you to feel more alert, healthy and ready to take on whatever the world throws at you.

Eat more, and crunchy fruits and vegetables

Not just for children, eating crunchy fruits and vegetables regularly will maintain the strength of your teeth. Again, this helps to balance the Ph scale in your mouth, aside from the sweeter fruits and will contribute to greater overall health.

Limit sugary foods and drinks

Sugar lowers the pH level of the acid formed in the mouth so the acid will have more of an impact on the enable because its more concentrated and will break down the enamel easier, leading to cavities. Aside from the positive dietary effects this can have on your body, limiting this will prevent any teeth discolouration, and improve the smell of your breath too!

Visit your dentist at least twice a year

Going for regular check-ups may seem like a chore, especially when you know that you keep your teeth in good condition. Regular check-ups can also check for any early warning signs of major diseases such as Gum Disease, Bacterial Pneumonia and even Cancer. Our dental practice in Pateley Bridge can also help refer you for any orthodontic treatment, and braces. It is becoming more popular amongst adults to seek help for any crooked or misshapen teeth, and we can provide discreet solutions that will not affect your daily life.

Book an appointment with us today at our practice in Pateley Bridge to see how we can help whiten and brighten your smile!