Tips for Great Oral Hygiene

Tips for Great Oral Hygiene

Keep your mouth clean!

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Tips for Great Oral Hygiene

Did you know that daily oral hygiene plays a significant role in your overall health and wellbeing? Brushing and flossing combined with regular dental visits prevent gum disease, infection, tooth loss, and systemic issues. The result of poor dental habits is often built-up plaque that can lead to periodontal disease, a gum infection that can spread to the jawbone and is linked to heart disease.

At every age, regular daily care of the mouth and gums is important. To have good dental health, you need a mix of personal dental care and the care of your dentist. Our dental hygienists are trained to detect, treat, and prevent gum disease and are experts in preventive care. Our expert dentists create treatment plans to maintain or restore patients’ oral health.

As part of good dental care, your routine should include brushing, flossing, and careful nutrition. However, it’s important to understand the proper technique of brushing and flossing to maintain a beautiful, healthy smile for life. As dental professionals, it’s our job to educate our patients on proper oral care. Check out our tips for great oral hygiene below.


Tips for Great Oral Hygiene

5 Steps Toward Good Oral Health

If you take care of your teeth and gums at home and visit your dentist regularly, your smile should last you a lifetime. You and your dentist are partners in keeping your oral health good for life.

Brushing Your Teeth

Regular, thorough brushing is a very important step in preventing tooth decay and gum disease. Brushing removes the bacteria that promote tooth decay and the plaque that can cause gum disease. Get the most out of brushing your teeth by using these tips:

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  • Ideally, you should brush after every meal. If this is not possible, you should brush at least twice a day, once in the morning and once before bed.
  • Use a regular or electric toothbrush with soft bristles. Be sure to replace it regularly.
  • Use a small amount of toothpaste, about the size of a pea. Flouride kills the bacteria that causes cavities so make sure it has that and the Canadian Dental Association’s Seal of Acceptance.
  • Brush every surface of each tooth gently, at a 45-degree angle.
  • Direct the bristles to where your gums and teeth meet. Use a gentle, circular, massaging motion, up and down.
  • Don’t rush! A thorough brushing should take at least 2 to 3 minutes. Try timing yourself.
  • Brush your tongue, rinse your mouth and let your toothbrush air dry.

Flossing Your Teeth

Flossing removes plaque and bacteria that you cannot reach with your toothbrush. If you don’t floss, you are missing more than one-third of your tooth’s surface. Plaque is the main cause of gum disease. It is an invisible bacterial film that develops on your teeth every day. Within 24 to 36 hours, plaque hardens into tartar (also called calculus), which can only be removed by professional cleaning. Floss at least once a day and plaque never gets the chance to harden into tartar. Getting into the habit of daily flossing is easier when you floss while doing something else like watching TV or listening to music, for example. How does your flossing routine compare with the following list?

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Daily Oral Hygiene
  • Gums sometimes bleed when you first begin to floss. Bleeding usually stops after a few days. Try rinsing with salt water to encourage healing.
  • Take a length of floss equal to the distance from your hand to your shoulder and wrap it around the middle finger of each hand, leaving about 2 inches between your hands.
  • Place the floss between your teeth and wrap it into a “C” shape around the base of the tooth and gently, under the gumline, move left and right, wipe the tooth from base to tip 2 or 3 times.
  • Be sure to floss both sides of every tooth. Don’t forget the backs of your last molars. Go to a new section of the floss as it wears and picks up particles.
  • Last but not least, brush your teeth after you floss.

Nutrition for Dental Health

A balanced and nutritious diet is good for your general health and your dental health. Without the right nutrients, your teeth and gums can become more susceptible to decay and gum disease. Sugar is one of the main causes of dental problems. The average Canadian eats the equivalent of 40 kg of sugar each year. If you can’t brush after consuming a sweet snack or drink, at least rinse your mouth with water or eat a fibrous fruit or raw vegetables. Or, chew a piece of sugarless gum.

Poor oral health can affect a person’s quality of life. Oral pain, missing teeth or oral infections can influence the way a person speaks, eats and socializes. These oral health problems can reduce a person’s quality of life by affecting their physical, mental and social well-being. Oral disease, like any other disease, needs to be treated. A chronic infection, including one in the mouth, is a serious problem that should not be ignored. Research has shown that there is an association between oral disease and other health problems, such as diabetes, heart disease and stroke, as well as pre-term and low birth weight babies.

A healthy mouth is an important part of leading a healthy life!