Good daily dental hygiene is essential to good dental health. Are you doing everything you can to maintain your oral health? Find out.
1. Choose the right toothbrush.
Use a toothbrush with a compact, rounded head to reach every surface of every tooth. Prefer a brush with soft or extra-soft bristles to protect tooth enamel and gums. And remember to change your brush every three months.
2. Brush your teeth several times a day.
You should brush your teeth at least twice a day—morning and night. Even better, brush after each meal. Proper brushing takes at least two minutes. Move your toothbrush in a gentle, circular motion, brushing every surface of your mouth, including your tongue.
3. Floss between your teeth.
Floss once a day, preferably before bed. Dental floss works to dislodge plaque that has accumulated between the teeth, an area a toothbrush can’t reach. If plaque is not removed daily, it can harden and lead to other dental problems like gingivitis (gum disease).
4. Be aware of any changes.
When you see your dentist—which you should at regular intervals, preferably every 6 months—be sure to mention any changes you’ve noticed since your last visit, such as:
- changes in the color of your teeth or teeth that have moved;
- increased sensitivity to hot or cold;
- changes to the gums (color, sensitivity, bleeding);
- appearance of sores in the mouth or on the lips;
- tension in the neck or jaw;
- clenching or grinding of teeth;
- appearance of bumps on the neck.
5. Adopt a healthy lifestyle.
Balance your diet! Eating healthy contributes to dental health as well as overall health. Foods that can compromise your dental health include candy, sweet drinks and fruit juices. Also, quit smoking as it affects the health of your teeth and mouth. Finally, drink alcohol with moderation. If you’re having trouble changing some of your habits, ask your pharmacist for help.
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