Proper dental hygiene is essential for all humans’ healthy gums and teeth. Healthy dental hygiene is essential for a confident smile, better digestion, and to prevent dental issues affecting gum, teeth, and gut. In this guide, you’ll discover expert dental hygiene tips and techniques for optimal dental and oral health care.
What Is Dental Hygiene?
Dental hygiene is part of the overall oral hygiene. Oral hygiene involves keeping your oral cavity clean, free of disease, and free of other problems, such as bad breath, through good and regular oral hygiene habits like brushing teeth and more.
Dental hygiene is part of oral hygiene that focuses on the teeth and keeping them clean, strong, healthy, well-arranged, and free of common dental diseases. Examples of common dental issues are diseases are:
- Crowded teeth
- Crooked teeth
- Tooth decay (cavities, dental caries)
- Gum diseases ( gingivitis and periodontitis)
- Teeth odor and bad breath
7 Best Dental Care Practices And Tips
Regular dental hygiene prevents dental disease, avoids teeth issues, and prevents bad breath. Here is how to properly care for your teeth with these dental care tips and practices:
1. Regular Teeth Brushing
The best dental hygiene routine starts with brushing your teeth regularly and adequately using the right toothbrush. It’s the basis of oral hygiene and the foundation of dental hygiene. Here are the tips for brushing your teeth:
- Brushing intervals – Brush your teeth at least twice per day (morning and evening after the last meal) or immediately after every meal.
- Toothbrush type – Dentists recommend soft-bristle toothbrushes because they’re gentle on the gums and teeth.
- Duration – Brush your teeth for at least two minutes to ensure thorough and all-around cleaning. This also gives the toothpaste enough time in the mouth to cleanse it and remove dirt and bacteria.
- Brushing technique – When brushing your teeth, the angle of the toothbrush to the gum should be 45 degrees. They use circular, gentle motions on each tooth’s surface while cleaning all sides: back, front, up, down, and the chewing surfaces.
2. Cleaning Your Tongue
When brushing your teeth, brush your tongue (front-to-back) to remove bacterial buildup. This will also help freshen your breath, remove mouth odor and give you a clean, fresh feeling in every breath. Here are some tips to get the best tongue-cleaning results:
- Toothpaste – Yes, use a small amount of toothpaste on your toothbrush.
- Technique – Like your teeth, brush your tongue using circular motions and move the toothbrush as far back as possible, but take caution to avoid triggering a gag reflex.
- Scraper products – It’s not absolutely necessary, but you can use scraper products designed for cleaning food particles and bacteria from the tongue.
- Mouthwash – Once you’re done brushing your teeth and tongue, you can clean your mouth (teeth, tongue, gums) with a mouthwash to remove any remaining bacteria buildup.
Good dental hygiene should not end with bruising your teeth and tongue. It should also include regular dental flossing. If you haven’t been flossing in your dental routine, start now. Use dental floss to eliminate food particles and plaque that gather and settle between your teeth. Best dental flossing tips include:
- Interval – Floss at least once daily, using a floss that feels most comfortable for you. Gently slide the dental floss between each tooth to reach and remove plaque and food particles. Avoid accidental gum injury/damage by gently moving the floss against each tooth’s curve.
- Curve your dental floss – (to form a C-shape) carefully around each tooth, then gently glide it in an up and down formation to clean the teeth and remove any plaque and food particles.
4. Teeth Braces For Crowded Teeth
If you have crowded teeth, you can use braces to correct them and get great smiles. Metal, clear, or ceramic braces are common for crowded teeth treatment. Braces work by asserting constant pressure on the overlapping teeth so that they can comfortably straighten and align so you get a beautiful new smile.
If you wish, you can use traditional braces with wires, brackets, and bands. A bonding metal attaches the brackets to the teeth then the wires are threaded through them. You can see a dentist every few months for the braces’ adjustments. Over time, the teeth with braces gradually shift into their proper position.
5. Use Mouthwash
Quality mouthwash is a great addition to your oral and dental hygiene routine. The best mouthwash practices include:
- Accepted product – While choosing a mouthwash, select one with an ADA Seal of Acceptance, showing that it’s safe for use as a mouthwash.
- Type – Always choose the right mouthwash with antimicrobial to kill bacteria or fluoride to strengthen enamel and help prevent cavities.
- When to use – It’s recommended to rinse your mouth with the mouthwash after flossing, brushing your teeth, and cleaning your tongue.
- How long – Sip and swish a small amount of the mouthwash for about 30 seconds or a minute, taking caution not to swallow. Then spit it out and rinse your mouth with clean water.
6. Avoid Bad Habits That Harm Your Teeth
Certain behavioral habits that touch on your mouth and teeth can harm your teeth and overall oral health. Examples of these habits are:
- Smoking and use of tobacco products – These products risk your teeth to tooth issues like decay, gum disease, and even oral cancer.
- Chewing Ice – Ice can cause physical damage to your teeth, such as cracks or chips.
- Nail biting – This can cause physical teeth damage.
- Too many sugary and acidic foods – Foods like sodas, citrus drinks, candy and biscuits get stuck to the teeth and can cause tooth decay. They also stick to the teeth and attract bacteria that cause teeth infections.
You should avoid these habits to keep your teeth safe, healthy, clean and bright for a radiant smile and good breath.
7. Regular Dental Check Ups
In addition to the above practices, you should see a dentist regularly for dental cleanings and exams. This is called preventative dentistry; while good dental hygiene can prevent infections and issues, they’re not 100% guaranteed protection. Preventive care gives you the best chance for clean, healthy, strong teeth with a beautiful smile and quality oral health. You’ll also be able to identify other minor dental issues before they get out of hand.
Think about your oral health and how to take care of your teeth. Dental hygiene doesn’t end with brushing. You have to go the full length to floss your teeth, wash your tongue, clean your mouth using mouthwash, and remember to schedule regular dental visits. The whole oral health and hygiene program doesn’t have to be expensive if done well.