If you’ve never really given your oral hygiene habits much thought, it might be time to learn how to clean your teeth effectively and thoroughly. If you’ve had dental treatments such as bridges, crowns and implants, it’s even more important to be sure you’re maintaining your oral health.
How to clean your teeth properly
You learned to brush your teeth when you were a child, but did you know you need to brush for at least two minutes, twice a day? And that it’s supposed to be after you’ve finished breakfast in the morning, not before you put your makeup on and pick up a coffee and muffin to eat at your desk?
If you’re too rushed in the morning, take a dental kit to work with you and clean your teeth after your morning coffee / tea and snack. If you’re too tired late at night to pay attention, brush straight after dinner and skip the late-night snacks.
If you have Invisalign, you need to clean your teeth and aligners straight after having any food or drink, except for plain water.
The importance of flossing
Did you know that nearly half the surface area of your teeth is between them? That’s why it’s so important to make sure you floss twice a day as it cleans where your toothbrush can’t. If you have a tendency to forget, floss before you brush your teeth. And remember, flossing is also great for fresh breath as it gets rid of any nasty bits of food hidden away in between your teeth.
If you have a bridge or braces, you may need to use tiny dental brushes as well to get around those difficult areas. Your Apple Dental hygienist will show you what you need and discuss the best options for you.
Should I be using mouthwash?
Not everyone needs mouthwash, and it’s certainly not a substitute for cleaning your teeth or fixing bad breath. Mouthwash can do a whole range of things from making your breath smell fresh for a little while to special therapeutic mouthwashes that help with certain oral conditions. If you have halitosis (bad breath), you need to check with your dentist as you may have an underlying dental issue or need a better oral hygiene routine.
Saliva is your mouth’s natural mouthwash that protects your teeth and gums. When you aren’t producing enough saliva, your teeth can start to be attacked by acids contained in food and bacteria. If you have dry mouth issues, which can happen with certain medications, make sure you keep hydrated and speak to your dentist about available treatments.
Finally, make sure you see your Apple Dental practitioner every six months for a checkup and clean.