Dental Hygiene 101: Taking Care of Your New Smile
- Posted on: Nov 27 2015
A smile has been known to be one of the most beautiful features that can be found on a person’s face. By simply revealing your pearly whites, a wave of uncharted emotions is sent to the receiver, thus giving you an additional hint of mystery and charm. However, not everyone is born destined to have perfect teeth, so in order to preserve its tiptop form, a daily dental regimen must be implemented. Sadly, proper oral hygiene is sometimes the last thing people think of before they wake up or go to bed. People sometimes forget to brush their teeth after meals, miss their dental appointments, and continue eating food that can damage their teeth. Although the common excuse people give is “I’ll do it next time,” chances are, they will forget to do them again.
It is imperative that you perform your daily oral hygiene routine. Though it may not seem immediately important, ignoring the health of your teeth can result in numerous types of damage that may affect more than just your mouth. Cavities, a cracked tooth, visible plaque and other dental issues may begin small, but when left unattended, they could get worse and interfere with simple tasks such as chewing, talking, and smiling.
Basic Oral Hygiene
- Applying too much pressure when brushing can cause your gums to bleed, and holding your toothbrush at the wrong angle may not clean your teeth completely. When brushing, you must remember to hold your toothbrush at a 45° angle against your gumline and begin sweeping or rolling it away from that area. Only use gentle force when you are stroking both the inner and outer walls of each tooth.
- Do not forget to brush your tongue to remove bacteria, and at the same, time freshen your breath.
- When flossing, only use 18” of floss, but reserve 2” for the cleaning proper. Once you insert it in the gaps, gently follow the curves of your teeth. Be sure to clean beneath the gumline, and as much as possible, avoid snapping the floss on your gums.
- Lastly, visit your dentist regularly – especially when you are experiencing discomfort or difficulty – to properly maintain your teeth’s strength, health, and shine.
Braces and Retainers
- People who are wearing braces struggle a little bit more than those who do not. With their teeth being held by metal wires and brackets, performing basic oral hygiene will be difficult – especially when it comes to those hard-to-reach places. Reduce the agony and properly take care of your teeth by following these simple tips.
- Avoid eating chewy foods that are tough-to-bite, or that leave tiny debris (like corn), and are genuinely hard. They can not only destroy the material of your braces, but they can be very difficult to remove. Leaving food bits between your teeth overtime is not a good idea, because they can develop cavities and other tooth-related damage.
- When flossing, make sure to insert the end of the floss through the space between the main arch wires of your braces and the upper portion of your tooth. Gently move the floss in a saw-like motion and remember not to pull it too hard, for it may break the wires. You may want to brush your teeth first with a soft orthodontic brush before moving to an interdental brush or “Christmas tree” brush. Always discuss your routine with your dentist for the best advice and guidance.
- If you are wearing retainers, be sure to brush it as well (at least once or twice a week) without using any toothpaste. To do this, add your preferred denture cleanser to a cup full of warm water and let it sit. When you are about to use the retainer, rinse it thoroughly first before placing it back in your mouth.
Do your best not to miss any of your dental appointments. Your teeth’s health is dependent on how you take care of your braces/retainers.
You can maintain your dental implants the same way you treat your ordinary teeth. However, if you want to give your implants all-around clean, additional cleaning aids, such as an interdental brush and floss are also available in the market. Proper, and gentle, cleaning for dental implants is a must to prevent stains and avoid potential infection.
Those with bonded teeth need to make sure that the resin that has been attached on their teeth/tooth’s surface remains intact. Proper dental bonding aftercare is very similar to basic oral hygiene, and includes:
- Brushing and flossing at least twice a day (ideally once in the morning and once at night)
- Drink water after meals to reduce the acidity levels in the mouth and remove excess food debris. Refrain from consuming foods that contain high acid levels and are difficult to chew, for they may dissolve the tooth’s enamel and composite resin.
- Avoid eating and drinking food that causes stains such as tea, wine, berries, juices, candies, etc. Products that are made from tobacco should be avoided as well.
- Habits, like biting your fingernails, pen caps, pencils, and the like need to stop. Constantly chewing on hard materials will wear down the bonding material and tooth enamel over time.
Keeping your teeth clean and healthy should always be part of your daily care routine. With a little time and effort, maintaining your pearly whites will become less of a chore. By simply brushing, flossing, and regularly visiting the dentist, not only will your teeth last longer, they will also look great whenever you flash a smile.