From an early age, many of us are taught the importance of dental hygiene. We have all heard that if we eat too much candy, our teeth will fall out, or that coffee can cause stains. Practicing proper brushing is super important in preventing cavities, plaque, tooth decay, gum disease, and more.

While brushing your teeth regularly is the very best way to remove bacteria from your mouth, there are several other steps you can take to practice good hygiene. Here at Dr. Suzanne Caudry’s, we’ve put together a few steps to ensure that your oral health remains both strong and healthy in defense of dental problems.

Let’s get started!

Don’t Stop Brushing

Yes, brushing your teeth is mandatory, and yes, there is a proper way to do it.

Firstly, you should only ever brush your teeth with soft bristles. Hard bristles will remove the enamel that protects your teeth and put your teeth at risk of decay and gum erosion. Also, you should replace your toothbrush every 2-3 months or when the bristles begin to fray.

Secondly, don’t brush your teeth too vigorously. Be gentle with your mouth and ensure that you are reaching every possible surface of tooth––front, back, and sides. It is recommended that you avoid back and forth motions, and instead, brush your teeth in small circular motions.

Lastly, each tooth brushing session should last for 2-3 minutes and should be conducted at least twice a day. Some people choose to brush their teeth after every meal, but it depends on what you are comfortable with and what your dentist recommends.

Yes, You Have to Floss

While many people may choose to skip flossing from time to time, it’s not optional when it comes to maintaining good dental hygiene.

Flossing allows you to remove bacteria and plaque from under and between your teeth and gums. Floss reaches the areas that your toothbrush can’t, and that is why, incorporating this step into your oral hygiene practice, is so important.

Flossing removes food and other debris from your mouth and can also work to improve bad breath. Flossing is just as important for your gums as it is for your teeth. Without regular flossing, your gums may experience inflammation, also known as gingivitis. Gingivitis can cause your gums to bleed and can lead to more dire dental diseases if not mitigated properly. With this being said, be gentle with your gums as you floss.

Flossing once a day should do the trick!

Avoid Excessive Sugars, Especially Sugary Drinks

Although we may not like to admit it, indulging in sweets regularly can take a real toll on the overall health of your teeth. Candy, pop, sugary drinks, and desserts are all common culprits of cavities and general tooth decay.

Experts also recommend limiting your intake of starch-heavy foods such as crackers, bread, chips, and pasta to protect your dental health.

When at all possible, choose to drink water instead of sugary pops and encourage your children to follow suit.

Developing good habits at a young age is the best way to help your kids maintain their dental hygiene in the future. Teaching them how to brush their teeth effectively and making dental care a routine, morning and night, are some excellent ways to get started.

Visit Your Dentist At least Once a Year

Even if you practice brushing, flossing, and maintain healthy eating habits, it’s still essential to visit your dentist for a regular checkup and cleaning. Most people will choose to see the dentist once or twice a year. Your dental hygienist will be able to tell you whether you should visit more often, but if you haven’t had a checkup in several years, now is the time to go.

The dental hygienist will remove built-up plaque that cannot be removed by brushing. They will assess the health of your gums and soft tissue and measure for any recession. The hygienist can also take diagnostic X-rays to detect problems unseen to the naked eye. Visiting the dentist for routine cleaning is preventative care and will help prevent dental cavities and other diseases.

It’s important to note that changes in your oral health can be an indication of your general health. If you have questions about what you are experiencing, don’t wait for issues to worsen, get in touch with Dr. Suzanne Caudry right away.

Stop Smoking!

There is a myriad of reasons to avoid smoking cigarettes, and practicing good dental hygiene is one of them. Nicotine slows down your immune system and stops your body, including your mouth, from regenerating tissue as quickly as usual.

After a dental procedure, your teeth and gums will not be able to heal as quickly if you smoke. Many smokers will experience gum disease, and many more will experience the yellowing of their teeth and tongue.

Dental Hygiene and Dental Appliances

If you have a dental appliance such as braces, a retainer, dentures of a flipper tooth, maintaining your dental hygiene is crucial.

While these devices are used to straighten your teeth, repair your bite, and enhance the look of your smile, they can also cause food and other debris to get caught in your mouth more easily.

When you have a dental appliance, forgetting to brush or floss will only lead to a higher chance of developing cavities or disease, which can be both painful and expensive.

Dr. Suzanne Caudry Can Help Protect Your Teeth Today and Into the Future

You rely on your teeth to eat easily and smile with confidence. It’s only fair that you take care of them properly. Good dental hygiene won’t only enhance the color and overall beauty of your teeth, but it will also improve the smell of your breath, and ward off common dental diseases such as gingivitis and cavities.

So, keep brushing, remember to floss, don’t skip your dentist appointments, but do skip those cigarettes and sugary foods as often as you can. Your mouth will thank you!

For personalized and preventative dental care and education, Dr. Suzanne Caudry is your source. Call (416) 928-3444 for more guidance or book a checkup at the office to start improving your oral health and develop your own dental care routine!