June is Oral Health Month and the perfect time to refamiliarize your family with proper brushing and flossing habits. Each year, the American Dental Association joins forces with Colgate to spread awareness of the importance of establishing a healthy dental routine. During the month of June, reinforce the following oral health care practices.
Brush Properly – Morning and Night
Sometimes we get sloppy with our brushing techniques as we try to rush the process. Each morning and night, you want to brush for a full two minutes, making sure to gently scrub the fronts and backs of your teeth. While brushing, hold the toothbrush at a slight angle with the bristles aimed at the area where the teeth meet the gums. Brush in circular back-and-forth motions. Avoid brushing too hard as this could irritate your gums.
Don’t Forget About Your Tongue
Many people overlook their tongue during their daily oral health care routine. The tongue can collect food, bacteria, and debris that causes it to take on a whiteish appearance and can contribute to bad breath. Gently brush or scrape your tongue each time you brush your teeth.
Take Care of Your Toothbrush
You rely on your toothbrush to keep your teeth and gums clean and healthy. Remember to also keep your toothbrush clean by always rinsing it under water after brushing. Allow your toothbrush to air-dry and store it in an upright position. If there are other toothbrushes nearby, try to keep them in a separate holder to avoid cross-contamination. Ideally, you should invest in a new toothbrush at least every three months.
Use a Fluoride Toothpaste
Not all toothpaste offers the same benefits. Aside from flavors and whitening agents, look for toothpaste that contains fluoride. Fluoride can help prevent tooth decay by fighting the bacteria that cause cavities. It also helps create a protective barrier on your teeth.
Avoid Rushing the Flossing Process
Flossing the space between each tooth helps to remove stuck-on food and prevent tooth decay from forming in these tight spots. As your toothbrush can’t always reach into these gaps, it’s important to use floss. Break off about an 18-inch piece of dental floss and gently glide it between each tooth. Use a rubbing motion to carefully clean between the teeth until you reach the gumline.
Consider Adding a Mouthwash in Your Oral hygiene Routine
If you don’t already have one, consider adding a mouthwash to your daily oral health routine. Mouthwashes do much more than just freshen your breath. They can also reduce the amount of acid in the mouth, rinse food out of hard-to-reach areas, and help remineralize the teeth. Some brands of mouthwash also help with sensitive teeth.
Limit Acidic and Sugary Foods
What you put into your mouth can have a significant impact on your smile. As sugar converts into acids in the mouth that erode tooth enamel, you want to limit the number of acidic and sugary foods you consume in a day. Instead, eat fresh fruits and vegetables that offer hefty portions of vitamins and minerals. Crunchy fruits and veggies in particular can help keep teeth clean and provide a dose of healthy fiber.
Know When to See a Dentist
Most people should see their Melbourne FL dentist at least once every six months for an exam and routine dental teeth cleaning. However, there may be other times when a dental visit is necessary, such as if you’re experiencing red, tender, or swollen gums. Other symptoms that could suggest an oral health problem include gums that bleed while brushing or flossing, unusual sensitivity to hot or cold, receding gums, chronic bad breath, loose permanent teeth, and painful chewing.
Contact Your Melbourne, Florida Dentist for Your Oral Health
Oral Health Month is the perfect excuse to brush up on your dental habits and make your smile a little whiter and brighter. For more information about how to care for your teeth and gums or to schedule an appointment with our friendly Melbourne FL dentist, contact Artistic Touch Dentistry.