When it comes to good oral hygiene, following the basics is really all you need to do. There’s no need to follow gimmicks or new fads. Practicing the essential oral hygiene habits truly are all you need to do to enjoy good oral health for your entire life.
Below are what we believe to be the quintessential – and easy – oral hygiene habits everyone should follow:
1. Brush twice a day, floss at least once a day. Repeat. Every day.
You know the drill: brushing with fluoride toothpaste twice a day and flossing your teeth once a day are the bedrock of good oral hygiene. Doing so removes bacteria and plaque that could eventually erode your teeth, causing cavities, and/or lead to gum disease, possibly resulting in tooth loss. Your dentist is always telling you to brush and floss for one simple reason: they work!
Use a soft-bristle toothbrush and make sure you brush all surfaces of all your teeth, both on the outside and inside sides of the teeth.
2. Get a professional checkup with your dentist at least twice a year.
Flossing and brushing get most, but not all, of the bacteria and plaque buildup from your teeth. Your dentist will get rid of the rest. If you tend to excrete more plaque than other people, your dentist may recommend that you have a professional checkup more than twice a year. If so, heed his advice if at all possible. The 70-year-old you will thank you.
3. If you want whiter teeth, use some hydrogen peroxide.
Don’t use a lot and don’t let it get on your gums. Just pour a bit of the liquid into its bottle cap and dip your toothbrush in it. Brush your teeth (being careful regarding your gums) and then rinse the toothbrush and brush your teeth again with fluoride toothpaste.
4. Get a tongue scraper and use it on your tongue.
Plaque and bacteria also build up on your tongue and a scraper will help get it off. Scrapers are pretty easy to find and aren’t that expensive. But if you can’t find one, brush your tongue with your toothbrush every time you brush your teeth.
5. Brushing is best, but in a pinch, rinse your mouth after eating.
Not everyone can always brush their teeth after eating. But most of us can certainly rinse our teeth. Doing so will help remove sugars, food bits, plaque, and bacteria from our teeth. Follow up with brushing/flossing in the morning and evening.
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