Have you ever met someone good-looking, but their bad breath totally ruined it? Or someone with the biggest smile but yellow teeth tarnishing it? What about those people who laugh with their mouths wide open, only for you to see large cavities and plaque all over their teeth? It’s a huge turn-off, isn’t it? Now imagine if you were the one with bad breath, yellow teeth, and cavities. Uh oh!
Poor oral hygiene affects your looks and confidence and severely affects your overall health. You’ll be more prone to developing gum disease and tooth decay, which can cause severe pain and discomfort. It also increases the risk of infection and cardiovascular diseases.
When it comes to oral health, the statistics are disturbing. According to the Australian Research Centre for Population Oral Health (ARCPOH), one-third of Australian adults aged 15 and over have untreated tooth decay, and three in every ten adults have moderate to severe gum disease.
Fortunately, you can adopt various oral hygiene practices to improve dental health and reduce the risk of developing tooth decay, gum diseases, and other dental problems. Here is a list of the best eight practices to help you get started:
Get professional teeth whitening services
If your teeth are stained from coffee, tea, or smoking, teeth whitening is a great way to freshen up your teeth and smile. It removes stains and corrects teeth discoloration for a brighter, more vibrant smile. While you might be tempted to use over-the-counter teeth whitening products, it is best to go to a professional for an effective and safe treatment.
You can easily find dentists in urban and suburban areas that can provide these services. For instance, if you reside in Brisbane, look up teeth whitening Brisbane and choose from the list of experts who can help you enhance your smile. They can even provide custom teeth whitening kits to take home to maintain teeth whiteness and enjoy a beautiful and healthy smile.
Brush and floss twice a day
Brushing is essential to keep your teeth and gums healthy. Use a soft-bristled toothbrush with a small head to help reach even hard-to-clean spots. And when it comes to toothpaste, use one that contains fluoride. These toothpaste are specially formulated to reduce plaque, prevent cavities, and protect the enamel from decay.
Flossing is also necessary to maintain your teeth’s health and whiteness. It helps remove food particles and plaque that a toothbrush can’t reach. Flossing also removes bacteria that help prevent gum disease. You can use waxed or unwaxed, flavored or unflavoured floss, whichever suits your preference. Make sure you know how to floss properly to avoid damaging your gums.
Chew sugar-free gum
Chewing gum stimulates saliva flow, which helps to wash away food particles and bacteria. The increased saliva flow also helps to neutralize the acidic environment in your mouth caused by the accumulated bacteria.
However, chew sugar-free gum; otherwise, it might do more harm than good! Sugar-free gums are sweetened with artificial sweeteners like xylitol or sorbitol that don’t feed the bacteria in your mouth. It also refreshes your breath and can help with cravings.
Limit tobacco use and drinking
All tobacco products, including cigarettes and smokeless tobacco, can cause damage to your teeth. They have nicotine, tar, and other chemicals that stain teeth, reduce your sense of taste, and cause bad breath. Smoking also increases your risk of developing gum disease and other oral health problems.
Likewise, excessive drinking can also stain your teeth and cause dry mouth. And when your mouth isn’t producing enough saliva, it becomes easier for bacteria to grow and cause tooth decay.
Therefore, it’s crucial to break the habit of smoking and reduce your alcohol intake. Cutting back or quitting can help keep your mouth healthy and promote better breath.
Avoid sugary, acidic and starchy foods
Sugary snacks, drinks, and other processed foods are loaded with sugar and other carbohydrates that can lead to tooth decay. Acidic drinks such as sodas and sports drinks are known to erode tooth enamel, leading to discoloration of the teeth. Starchy foods like potato chips and pretzels can get stuck in the crevices of your teeth and cause cavities if not removed properly by brushing or flossing.
Even if you brush and floss regularly and keep consuming sugary, acidic, and starchy foods, your teeth will eventually succumb to decay. Try to reduce your intake of these foods and substitute more nutritious options like fruits, vegetables, lean proteins, and whole grains.
Drink more water
You might know the importance of drinking enough water for your overall health, but it’s also essential for oral health. Drinking water helps rinse away food particles if you don’t have time to brush after a meal. It also helps keep bacteria from growing in your mouth and keeps your breath fresh.
Drink at least six to eight glasses of water daily to maintain good oral and physical health. If you don’t like how the regular drinking water tastes, consider adding a lemon wedge or a few cucumber slices to keep it fresh.
Eat crunchy fruits and vegetables
Do you often reach for snacks like chips and crackers when you’re hungry? Try snacking on crunchy fruits and vegetables instead. Fruits and veggies such as apples, carrots, celery, and cucumbers help naturally scrub your teeth and gums. They provide nutrients and vitamins for better health, and chewing crunchy food helps stimulate saliva production.
Mix and match fruits and veggies for a tasty snack with an added dip or seasoning. Rinse your mouth with water afterward, as some dips can leave a residue and may cause tooth decay.
Mouthwash can do wonders for your dental hygiene. It can help to reduce bad breath and leave your mouth feeling fresh and clean. Look for a mouthwash that contains natural ingredients like herbs and essential oils to get the most benefits.
How to use it:
Swish a sip of mouthwash around your mouth for at least 30 seconds, then spit it out. Avoid swallowing the mouthwash since it can be harmful if ingested. It’s best to do it after brushing and flossing as part of your oral routine.
Good oral hygiene is not only crucial for a healthy mouth, but it can also improve your overall health. You’ll feel confident when you smile and have fresher breath. Brushing and flossing are essential, but using mouthwash in your oral care routine will give you an additional benefit.
When craving sugary, acidic, and starchy foods, eat crunchy vegetables and fruits instead. Staying hydrated keeps your mouth healthy and helps prevent oral diseases. Lastly, visit professional teeth whitening services to remove surface stains and have a brighter smile.