Oral hygiene is so important that we were taught how to clean our teeth as soon as we can hold our own toothbrush. Keeping our mouth clean not only prevents dental cavities but also other diseases that can arise inside our mouth. Not doing so can cause dental caries (or commonly called tooth decay), periodontitis and gingivitis. The general rule in brushing is that we brush our teeth once in the morning and another in the evening, before going to bed. But how many times do we really need to brush our teeth?
The answer really depends on how you clean your teeth.
When we clean our teeth with just a toothbrush, it only cleans 50% of our teeth surfaces, mostly the front and the back. But that leaves the surfaces of the side of our teeth, which also needs to be cleaned. Interdental cleaning is the process of cleaning in between your teeth. There are various tools to clean between the teeth. The most commonly used is the dental floss. A floss can reach the crevices of our teeth, something that most toothbrushes can’t do. There are also other tools like wood sticks and interdental brushes.
You need a toothbrush that fits the mouth properly. There are various kinds of bristles, but the most recommended type is the soft-bristled. Dental professionals said that soft bristles are best for cleaning the gum line and removing plaque from the teeth surface. You should also find a brush that can reach the back teeth.
Some people prefer using a hard-bristled toothbrush but most dentists don’t recommend it. Hard bristles can cause the teeth enamel to wear off, not to mention the pressure that it gives the gums that can cause bleeding. The only benefit that you get from hard bristles is that it can take away more plaque build-up than the soft-bristled one.
A clean set of teeth depends on how you brush your teeth. Make short strokes back and forth when you’re brushing your teeth. Use this stroke to clean the front, back and chewing side of the teeth. Vertical brushstrokes are good for interdental cleaning. Teeth are cleaner if you use a floss or an interdental brush. Flossing can be done once in a day, preferably before going to bed to remove any morsel of food and plaque build-up. Doing so diminishes the build up of bacteria inside the mouth and in between teeth that can cause tooth decay and bad breath.
Aside from daily brushing and flossing, regular visits to the dentist is also a must in order to maintain healthy teeth and gums. Cleaning the teeth every six months by your dentist is a sure way to fight cavities and gum diseases. Your dentist takes away the buildup of hard deposits that cannot be cleaned by regular daily brushing.
Some tips to remember
An oral hygiene guide is not complete without some tips to give the readers, so here are some very basic ones that if you are mindful enough, can do a big help in maintaining good oral health and whiter teeth:
- Drink plenty of water- it helps lessen the buildup of bacteria inside our mouth
- Eat healthy foods – this helps maintain a healthy gum tissue and keeps our teeth strong
- Chew gum – if you can’t brush your teeth in the middle of the day, try chewing some gum. It promotes saliva production that clears the small debris of food left in our mouth.