5 tips to take care of your mouth

Dentist teaching a little girl how to brush her teeth

Being aware of your oral health is always important, and this is the perfect time to remind everyone to focus on their dental hygiene efforts. Studies show that there is a link between oral health and a number of other diseases, such as diabetes, heart disease, and dementia.

“A good home care routine will help keep your mouth and body healthy.  It will decrease your chances of getting cavities and gum disease,” said Kara Taylor, Oral Health Program Coordinator.

Your home care routine should include brushing twice a day using a fluoride toothpaste and flossing. Using a mouth rinse can also be considered, and eating a balanced diet is essential. It is also important to have regular dental checkups. Here are 5 tips to take care of your mouth. 

  1. Brushing your teeth is one of the most important things you can do for your oral health.  It lessens your chances of getting cavities and periodontal disease by removing plaque and bacteria. Brushing should be done at least twice a day with fluoride toothpaste, once in the morning and once at night.  Brush for at least two minutes each time with a soft-bristle toothbrush. 

Brushing can be done in 5 easy steps: 

  • Position your toothbrush at a 45 degree angle to the gums on the outer surfaces of your teeth. 
  • Move the toothbrush in short gentle strokes back and forth or in a circle in a massaging motion. 
  • Brush the outer and chewing surfaces of your teeth. 
  • Move your toothbrush to the inner surfaces and repeat the same movement.
  • Finish by brushing your tongue.
  1. Flossing your teeth is also crucial for your oral health. Flossing reaches the parts of your mouth that your toothbrush can’t reach, by removing bacteria and food particles from between your teeth. Flossing can be done easily and effectively with the right technique.
  • Cut a piece of floss about 18 inches in length.
  • Wrap both ends around the middle finger on both hands, leaving about 2 inches of floss between your fingers.
  • Hold floss with thumb and index finger and push down between teeth.
  • Form a “c” with the floss on the back tooth and go up and down along the surface of the tooth, then form a “c” with the floss on the front tooth and go up and down along the surface of that tooth.
  • Repeat the above steps throughout the rest of the mouth.
  1. Mouth rinses are not used as an alternative to brushing and flossing, but they can be used to supplement brushing and flossing if you desire.
  2. Eat a balanced diet. Drink plenty of water. Limit the number of between-meal snacks you eat. Reduce consumption of sugar-filled foods and drinks such as: soft drinks, sweetened fruit drinks, candy, and cookies.
  1. Visit your dentist regularly to keep your mouth as healthy as possible. Your dentist will check your teeth and gums and make individualized treatment recommendations based on the findings. These may include a professional cleaning with a dental hygienist, personalized oral hygiene instructions, and a plan to repair teeth with cavities or to replace missing teeth. Make sure to book an appointment with a dentist today.

It is also important to check children’s habits. Children should be brushing, flossing, and seeing a dentist regularly, with the first visit coming as soon as the first tooth erupts. Rinsing can be added when the child can do it without swallowing the rinse.  This month, make oral health care a part of your family’s daily routine. Click here to find a dentist near you.