When we were young our parents, friends and older siblings made sure that we brushed our teeth regularly. Once when we woke up and again before we went to bed. While we hope that you have kept up the habit and a great relationship with your Birmingham dentist, there are many components to practicing good oral hygiene on a daily basis. Not only will your teeth remain strong and healthy but your smile will stay bright and white!
1. Practice Proper Brushing
There is more to brushing your teeth than just swooshing a toothbrush back and forth. Firstly, to get the best clean possible, make sure your toothbrush bristles are at a 45 degrees. Doing this will ensure that both the gums and teeth are getting cleaned.
Secondly, separate your mouth into four quadrants. Each quadrant should take 30 seconds to brush. Each quadrant includes the inside and outside of the teeth and gums. Switch between an up-and-down and side-to-side motion to get every spot.
After brushing, rinse your mouth and finish by brushing your tongue all the way to the back. Many people forget about this important step even though it is the main source of bad breath! Once you’ve finished brushing your tongue, do a final rinse with warm water.
Note: You should replace your toothbrush or electronic toothbrush head ever 2 to 3 months. Some toothbrushes have an indicator of when it’s time to be replaced but leave a note on your calendar just in case. Using a toothbrush for longer than this can reduce its effectiveness.
2. Avoid Food and Drink that Leaves Stains
We understand it may be hard to give up your morning coffee, so if you are an avid coffee drinker, make it a point to brush your teeth immediately after you’ve finished. Coffee is notorious for leaving dark stains on your teeth that are extremely difficult to remove.
Other drinks high in acidity such as alcohol (especially red wine) and soda can wreak havoc on your teeth and gums. Besides leaving stains, soda can eat away at enamel while alcohol can lead to gum disease. Also, fruit juices are extremely acidic and can have similar effects as soda. If possible, take these drinks out of your diet completely or drastically limit your intake. Follow the same method of brushing your teeth and rinsing with mouthwash immediately after consumption.
Tobacco products are also extremely dangerous to your oral health and can cause oral cancer, gum disease, tooth decay and more. Avoid tobacco at all costs.
3. Visit Your Birmingham Dentist Regularly
It is important to maintain regular appointments every six months with your dentist in Birmingham AL. Be sure you have a good relationship with your dental office so your experience is pleasant each time you go for a teeth cleaning.
A good dentist is an essential part of your overall health. Outside of cleanings, dentists can perform root canals, tooth removal, teeth whitening and keep an eye out for any dangers such as tooth decay, gum disease or cavities.
4. Take Your Vitamins
Teeth are bones, which means that they need lots of calcium to stay strong and healthy. Adults and children should aim to consume calcium daily whether that be through food and drink such as cheese, yogurt and milk or as a vitamin supplement.
In addition to calcium, Vitamin D helps maintain overall health of your teeth and gums while Vitamin B, iron, copper, zinc and potassium are essential to keeping your body, especially those teeth, healthy.
5. Practice Proper Flossing
There are not a lot of people in the world who enjoy flossing, but it has to be done in order to maintain excellent oral hygiene. Your dentist in Birmingham AL would be happy to show you how to properly floss if you think you might be going about it wrong.
One of the best ways to really understand how flossing works is to floss with your eyes close and visualize the food scraps and tartar buildup that you are disturbing. Wrap the floss between two fingers so that you have a strong string about 2 inches long to use. Start in the back and work your way around your mouth, first along the bottom and then along the top. Each tooth should feel like it’s receiving a hug from the floss. Be gentle but firm around your gums.