Take control of your oral health with these 10 tips for improving it:
- Perfect your brushing technique
Most adults know that they should be brushing at least twice daily for optimum oral health, but make sure you’re brushing the right way to get maximum benefits. Tilt your toothbrush so that you’re brushing at a 45o angle, as this will help you brush closer to the gum line, and always brush in a gentle circular motion, instead of back and forth.
- Replace your toothbrush
Every 3-4 months you should replace your toothbrush (or the head if you use an electric one), or if you notice the bristles are fraying you can replace it sooner. A medium or soft bristled brush will reduce the plaque and debris from your teeth without causing any damage to your teeth or gums, which is sometimes the case with a hard-bristled brush (and especially if you brush your teeth too vigorously).
Brushing alone is not enough – you need to floss to get at the debris and plaque build-up in between your teeth, otherwise this can lead to decay and cavities. If flossing is too tricky, why not try inter-dental brushes instead to get around the nooks and crannies of your mouth?
- Get regular professional cleanings
There’s only so much you can do yourself, so make sure you still visit your dentist every 6 months to check for any developing problems and to get your teeth professionally cleaned in the places you can’t see.
- Check your toothpaste ingredients
Toothpastes can cater for a range of different oral health issues, so make sure you are using the right one for you. There are options available for strengthening enamel, reducing plaque, helping to get gingivitis under control, and sensitivity.
- Cut out staining food and drinks
Your diet will play a big part in keeping your mouth healthy. Try to avoid high sugar food and drinks, tea, coffee, red wine or other staining foods (if it can stain your clothes, it can stain your teeth!) and top up your vitamin levels with fresh fruit and veg daily.
- Quit smoking
Smoking can cause all sorts of problems for your gums and teeth – from staining to bad breath to making it harder for your gums to heal. Quitting it will only benefit your teeth and gums.
- Brush your tongue
Bacteria build up on your tongue can contribute to bad breath, so if you don’t already do it, you might want to give your tongue a brush once a day to control bacteria build up. Don’t use your toothbrush for this however, as these bristles are not designed for the rough surface and soft muscle of your tongue.
- Get more calcium
Calcium is an essential component of healthy bones and teeth, so make sure you’re including some calcium-rich foods in your diet, and enough Vitamin D to help your body absorb this nutrient.
- Drinks lots of water
Water has so many health benefits but specifically for your oral health it can help keep your mouth and teeth clean in between brushing. It also helps to prevent acid build up and promote saliva production which is good news for your mouth health.