Taking care of your teeth is important. By following these 5 oral hygiene rituals regularly, you’ll be able to reduce plaque and tartar build up on your teeth to improve the overall health of your smile.
Brush twice a day
This may be a no-brainer, but it’s also the most important dental hygiene tip there is. Brushing after every meal will remove plaque from your teeth, which is the sticky film that forms when bacteria mixes with food particles left on the teeth. If plaque isn’t removed, it hardens into tartar (aka hardened plaque), which can lead to cavities and gum disease if not removed properly.
After you brush your teeth and floss, use a tongue scraper to clear away any bacteria that might be lingering on your tongue. You can find tongue scrapers at most pharmacies or grocery stores. Hold the scraper at a 90 degree angle near the tip of your tongue and scrape towards the back of your throat, being careful not to scrape too hard or too far back on the roof of your mouth, which may cause injury.
Wear a Mouth Guard
If you grind your teeth at night, wear a soft mouth guard while you sleep to protect against tooth and gum damage. A dentist can prescribe a guard for you if you have trouble sleeping without grinding your teeth or clenching your jaw.
Rinse with Mouthwash
Spending as little as five minutes rinsing with mouthwash after brushing and flossing has been shown to help prevent cavities by killing off bacteria in the mouth that causes tooth decay. You should also make sure to have a good supply of mouthwash on hand during flu season.
The importance of flossing should not be underestimated. It removes plaque and food particles that brushing might miss, helping to prevent cavities and gum disease. Plaque is a sticky film that forms on your teeth almost immediately after eating or drinking. Bacteria feed off this film, producing toxins that will attack the enamel on your teeth if you don’t remove it regularly with floss or an interdental brush (the small brush used to clean between teeth).