Brushing and flossing are fundamental components of your oral hygiene routine. That said, there are other essential elements it's important not to forget. Follow these steps from our Winnipeg dentists to maintain your oral health and keep your teeth and gums free of disease.
Brushing your teeth two or three times a day, for two minutes each time is probably one of the most important things you can do every day to maintain your oral health.
To achieve ideal results, brush each "quadrant" of your teeth (upper right, upper left, lower right, lower left) for 30 seconds. Carefully brush all the exposed surfaces of your teeth, including the fronts, backs and biting surfaces, of each tooth.
Tip: Try an Electric Toothbrush
You may find it easier to clean your teeth with an electric toothbrush. These require less effort than manual brushes since they perform the correct brushing movement for you. Select an electric toothbrush with a round, rotating head, since this makes the ideal circular brushing motion.
The head of an electric toothbrush is also quite small, making it easier to clean those awkward spots that are more difficult to reach like your back molars and the backs of your front teeth.
We recommend flossing at least once a day, preferably at night before you go to bed. Flossing dislodges food debris and build-up from between your teeth, in the places your toothbrush can't reach.
Place the floss between two teeth and run it up and down the side of each, pulling it into a "c" shape in both directions. Proceed slowly and thoroughly, and make sure to floss between every two teeth.
Professional Dental Cleanings & Check-ups
Visiting the dentist every six months for a dental cleaning and check-up is essential to maintaining oral health.
Your dentist has the expertise and tools required to remove plaque and tartar build-up that you can't remove yourself with brushing and flossing.
Your dentist will also be able to identify dental problems in the beginning stages if they see you often enough, and treat them before they get worse. Oral health problems like cavities, gum disease and even tumours, cysts and other abnormalities are often not noticeable to the untrained eye in their early stages, so it's important to get your mouth evaluated regularly by a dental professional.
Eating a healthy diet that’s rich in calcium helps keep your teeth healthy from the inside out. Restrict consumption of sugars and starches, because oral bacteria thrive on these.
Staying hydrated can help prevent cavities! Drinking plenty of water will help you maintain a sufficient saliva flow, and saliva washes away the food particles that collect on your teeth and allow bacteria to multiply.
Supplementary Hygiene Aids
Oral hygiene aids are additions to your brushing and flossing routine. Good examples of supplementary hygiene aids include tongue cleaners, mouthwash, interdental cleaners, and oral irrigators.
These aids can help you keep your breath fresh, and prevent plaque from building up between brushing and flossing sessions. While they are not sufficient replacements for a thorough brushing and flossing routine, they can definitely help improve it.