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A new year, a new oral health routine

It has been the tradition for many years to make a new year’s resolution on January 1st.

Lots of people say they are going to exercise more, eat healthier or quit smoking but not many of them manage to keep it up throughout the year.

This January, why not make your resolution to develop a new and improved oral health routine? Turning over a new leaf can be difficult but sticking to this new routine will have a huge impact on your oral health.

We have put together a guide on how to develop a perfect oral health routine, to keep your teeth and gums squeaky clean.

Using the correct toothbrush

It’s a common myth that electric toothbrushes do a better job of cleaning your teeth than manual toothbrushes. The truth is, both do a great job at cleaning as long as you’re choosing the right one but many people find it easier to use an electric brush.

The brush head should have soft bristles and be small enough to fit comfortably in your mouth. Your brush head should be replaced every 3 to 4 months, or when the bristles start to become too soft or worn. Your dentist or hygienist will be able to demonstrate how to use your toothbrush effectively to remove plaque and other debris.

Don’t brush too hard or often

Some people believe that brushing as often as possible is good for your teeth but this is incorrect. You should brush your teeth twice a day – no more, no less. The recommended times are in the morning and in the evening, making sure it’s an hour after eating or drinking to protect the enamel.

Brushing too hard can start to destroy the surface of the teeth, making them sensitive and at a greater risk of developing decay. Removing plaque from your teeth doesn’t take a lot of strength, a gentle brushing for two minutes is preferred.

Flossing every day

Brushing alone only reaches a portion of the teeth, leaving a large percentage of the tooth’s surface unclean. The only way to reach these areas is by flossing at least once a day. Leaving plaque on and around the teeth can cause gum disease and tooth decay – something none of us want.

Many people start flossing but stop again because they have experienced bleeding gum. This means your gums are unhealthy but if you persevere your gums will become much healthier and will stop bleeding.

If you are unsure of the correct flossing technique, or need refreshing, your dentist will be able to demonstrate.

Stop the sugary snacks

The modern diet is full of high-sugar foods which is resulting in tooth decay being on the rise, however, it is entirely preventable. Sugars are consumed by bacteria in the mouth, which releases acids that attack the teeth. Over time, these attacks will cause tooth decay.

It goes without saying that the less sugar you consume, the better for your health but if you do just need to kick the sweet craving, try to limit it to just meal times. This gives the acid levels in the mouth chance to neutralise.

The tongue test

How do you know whether you’ve cleaned your teeth effectively? The ‘tongue test’ is a simple method which can let you know. Once you’ve finished brushing, run your tongue over the surfaces of your teeth and if they feel smooth the chances are you’ve done a good job.

If you’re still not sure if you have been thorough enough, you can use disclosing tablets which contain a special dye that makes plaque and debris in your mouth show up clearly.

Drinking enough water

Drinking plenty of water is extremely important for the overall health of your body, including your mouth. Dryness in the mouth can increase the production of plaque and your risk of both tooth decay and gum disease.

Keeping hydrated keeps the tissues in your mouth moist and promotes the production of saliva which neutralises acids, aids digestion, helps the mouth fight of germs and protects the teeth from decay.

From making some, if not all, of these tips your new year’s resolution you will be significantly increasing the overall health of your mouth and reducing your risk of developing tooth decay and gum disease.

If you’ve not visited a dentist in a while, why not make an appointment for the start of the year? Call Marquess Dental on 01248 78 78 78 to speak to one of our friendly team.

Posted by Geraint Buse on 28th December 2017, under Caring for your teeth,Oral Hygiene

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