We must do more than just brush and floss regularly to maintain an effective oral hygiene routine. Our dentists and hygienists in Selkirk list all the steps we recommend our patients take to keep their teeth and gums clean and healthy.
Regular Professional Cleanings & Check-ups
Seeing the dentist about every six months for a checkup and cleaning is an integral part of maintaining an effective oral hygiene routine.
While necessary daily maintenance for your teeth should include regular at-home brushing and flossing, plaque will still build up and harden into tartar over time. This is true no matter how careful and thorough you are with brushing and flossing.
However, your dentist will have the tools needed to safely eliminate that plaque and tartar buildup without damaging your enamel.
The dentist can also identify and treat oral health problems that may be developing that are still in their early stages - before they become more serious issues. Oral diseases such as gum disease, cavities and even abnormalities such as tumors or cysts are often not obvious to an untrained eye, so it's important to have your mouth examined by a professional on a regular basis.
When we're able to identify and treat oral health problems early, you'll minimize your chances of needing more invasive dental treatments. Your mouth will also stay healthier in the long run.
With early identification and treatment of oral health problems, you’ll minimize your need for more invasive dental treatments, and keep your mouth healthier, in the long run.
Brushing is probably the most important part of your routine. You should brush your teeth at least twice a day, in the morning and at night, for two full minutes at a time. If you can manage it, an extra session after lunch is beneficial.
To make sure each tooth gets the attention it needs, divide your mouth into four sections, and spend 30 seconds on each: upper left, upper right, lower left, lower right. Be sure to brush the front, back, and chewing surface of each tooth.
You should floss your teeth at least once a day, ideally right before you go to bed. Flossing removes food debris that can get caught between your teeth in spots that your toothbrush can’t reach. Flossing is essential for preventing tooth decay and gum disease, and will also help keep your breath fresh.
To do a good job flossing, it’s important to take your time. Insert the floss between two of your teeth, and run it carefully up and down the sides of each tooth, pulling it into a ‘c’ shape each way. Work your way methodically along your top jaw, and then your bottom jaw, until you have flossed between all your teeth.
Eating a healthy diet that’s rich in calcium is also an important part of your oral hygiene routine, as it will help keep your teeth and gums strong and healthy from the inside out.
Eat starches and sugars in moderation, and make sure to eat plenty of fruits and vegetables.
Drinking enough water will help you maintain a good saliva flow. This is essential because saliva washes away food residue and debris that would otherwise collect on your teeth, allowing bacteria to thrive. Drinking enough fluids can therefore help prevent cavities and gum disease.
If you are already brushing and flossing regularly, but want to give your routine a boost, you can try adding some supplementary hygiene aids.
Hygiene aids include things like mouthwash, interdental cleaners, oral irrigators, and tongue cleaners, to name a few.
While these tools cannot replace a thorough brushing and flossing routine, they do make a good addition to it, to help keep your breath fresh and minimize plaque buildup.