A good oral care routine is essential for maintaining a healthy mouth. Using a toothbrush and toothpaste brushing is a good start, but doesn’t guarantee your giving your mouth the attention it deserves. Having the right products, correct technique consistency is key to good oral care.
All this information can be quite intimidating to start with. Here at Got Teeth Guide we’ve broken down 10 of our best tips to ensure your mouth is in tip top condition.
1. Brush for 2 minutes a day twice a day, every day
We know this one sounds simple, but it is something that is often neglected and is challenging for some to be consistent with. A quarter of women and a third of men aren’t brushing their teeth twice a day every day! The average person doesn’t brush for the full two minutes either, according to the Academy of General Dentistry the average person only brushes for between 45 – 70 seconds. Other studies carried out and polls carried out show similar results with people brushing for too short a time and overestimated the time they brush.
If you’re racing through the cleaning of your teeth there are things you can do to help. Try brushing your teeth to a song that’s two minutes or setting a timer. Many electric toothbrushes now come with a built-in timer that even pulses every 30 seconds to let you know when to change quadrant of you mouth.
Brushing your teeth for the right time is the essential first tip for a healthy mouth.
2. Brushing with the right technique
There’s more technique than you might think to brushing your teeth and this also differs slightly based on whether you use a manual or electric. Two important considerations regardless of the type of brush you are using are:
- Don’t brush too hard. Applying too much pressure is a common mistake when it comes to brushing your teeth and can be damaging to your gums, teeth and the overall healthiness of your mouth. Make sure you brush your teeth gently, brushing too hard can cause more harm than good.
- Brushing at a the correct angle. Brushing your teeth isn’t like in the cartoons. Depending on which surfaces of your teeth are being cleaned the brush needs to be positioned differently. Brushing the outside and inner surfaces of your teeth (except the inner front teeth) require you to have the brush at a 45 degree angle to your gums.
3. Use a toothpaste with fluoride
Fluoride is a naturally occurring mineral that is found in many foods and in drinking water. Fluoride is the important part in the toothpaste you use that helps strengthen your enamel, protecting your teeth from cavities/tooth decay.
Most toothpaste today contains fluoride, buying from most reputable brands you should be safe. Be sure to check the content of fluoride in your toothpaste, make sure it contains between 1350ppm to 1500ppm fluoride (the amount is less for children under 3).
4. Spit, don’t rinse
After brushing your teeth you should make sure not to rinse out your mouth. Linking in with the previous point, the fluoride in your toothpaste is what’s protecting your teeth throughout the day, rinsing out your mouth will be washing the fluoride away. It’s recommended you spit out the excess toothpaste from your mouth without rinsing it out. Then in a perfect world, wait 30 minutes after finishing brushing before eating or drinking.
5. Change your brush head
There’s a 70% chance that you don’t replace your brush head often enough. That’s right, 70% of the population aren’t actually changing their brush head when they should be. If you have an electric toothbrush you will just be replacing your brush head, if you use a manual toothbrush that means replacing your toothbrush.
For your brush to be working as effectively as possible, experts recommend replacing your brush head every 2 or 3 months. The bristles on a toothbrush head are rounded with specially machinery in the manufacturing process, over the life of the brush head the bristles become damaged, flayed and jagged no longer doing there job effectively. Using an old brush head can be damaging to your teeth and gums. Over time there is also a build up of bacteria on the brush head, which is another added benefit of replacing your brush head if you don’t sanitise it.
6. Clean your tongue
Your mouth is full of bacteria (while this sounds bad, don’t worry it’s not necessarily a problem and this also includes good bacteria). Because of this the tongue gets a lot of bacteria and food debris trapped on it, which is very often the source of bad breath. To help this you can brush your tongue or even use a tongue scraper to get rid of the build up. This is key to help keep a healthy mouth.
7. Clean between your teeth
Interdental cleaning (cleaning between your teeth), is often forgot about despite being very important to your oral care. A toothbrush does a great job of cleaning the inside, outside and biting surfaces of your teeth, however where it fails to perform is the ability to clean in-between your teeth. This is where other oral care accessories are needed to to keep your mouth in great shape and remove any food debris and plaque between your teeth. 2 out of 5 surfaces of your tooth aren’t reached by a toothbrush and need cleaning interdentally.
To clean in between your teeth you can opt to use either floss or interdental brushes. Despite floss being very well-known, many studies show that interdental brushes are the more effective tool for cleaning and are highly recommended by dental hygienists.
8. Cut down on the sugar
84% of adults have at least one filling. That’s a shockingly high number of people, but also somewhat expected with the amount of sugar in many people’s diet. Sugar is a major cause for tooth decay and works to fuel tooth decay by feeding the bad bacteria in your mouth leading to the production of acid that wears away at the enamel leaving your teeth vulnerable to bacterial infections (tooth decay).
One of the best tips for a healthy mouth you can implement, especially if you find yourself getting a lot of cavities, is to cut down on your sugar intake. The key is limiting not just the consumption of sugar, but the frequency.
9. Visit the dentist regularly
Ensure you identify any issues you have early by visiting the dentist for regular checkups, often every 6 – 12 months The dentist is there to identify any problems you have and do restorative work.
10. Visit the dental hygienist regularly
A dental hygienists main job is focused on “preventative” dental health. This means they will be showing you and giving you advice on how to care and look after your teeth and gums. They also remove plaque and tarter on your teeth as part of a professional cleaning, this is often called a “polish and scale”.