On finding an oral care routine that suits you
Incisive BiteSunday, October 10, 2021
by Dr Sharon Robinson
October is celebrated as oral health awareness month. We care for every part of our body, so why should our mouths be neglected? Oral health month is a reminder about the importance of maintaining good oral hygiene, always. Oral health is a lifelong habit that you can teach your children. In fact, it's not something you need to work exceptionally hard at since you'll be leading them through a routine you already do yourself. Take the lead this Oral Health Awareness Month to try some new activities to keep you and your child's oral health in check and find an oral care routine that suits you.
1) Don't go to bed without brushing your teeth
It's no secret that the general recommendation is to brush at least twice a day. Still, many of us continue to neglect brushing our teeth at night. But brushing before bed gets rid of the germs and plaque that accumulate throughout the day.
2) Brush properly
The way you brush is equally important — in fact, doing a poor job of brushing your teeth is almost as bad as not brushing at all. Take your time, moving the toothbrush in gentle, circular motions to remove plaque. Unremoved plaque can harden, leading to calculus build-up and gingivitis (early gum disease).
3) Don't neglect your tongue
Plaque can also build up on your tongue. Not only can this lead to bad mouth odour, but it can lead to other oral health problems. Gently brush your tongue every time you brush your teeth.
4) Use a fluoride toothpaste
When it comes to toothpaste there are more important elements to look for than whitening power and flavours. No matter which version you choose, make sure it contains fluoride. Fluoride is a leading defence against tooth decay. It works by fighting germs that can lead to decay, as well as providing a protective barrier for your teeth.
5) Treat flossing the same way brushing
Many who brush regularly neglect to floss. Flossing is not just for getting little pieces of food or broccoli that may be getting stuck in between your teeth. It's really a way to stimulate the gums, reduce plaque, and help lower inflammation in the area. Flossing once a day is usually enough to reap these benefits.
6) Don't let flossing difficulties stop you
Flossing can be difficult, especially for young children and older adults with arthritis. Rather than give up, look for tools that can help you floss your teeth. Ready-to-use dental flossers from the drugstore can make a difference.
7) Consider mouthwash
Mouthwash helps in three ways: it reduces the amount of acid in the mouth, cleans hard-to-brush areas in and around the gums, and re-mineralises the teeth. Ask your dentist for specific mouthwash recommendations. Certain brands are best for children, and those with sensitive teeth. Prescription mouthwash is also available.
8) Drink more water
Water continues to be the best beverage for your overall health — including oral health. It's recommended to drink water after every meal. This can help wash out some of the negative effects of sticky and acidic foods and beverages in-between brushes.
9) Eat crunchy fruits and vegetables
Ready-to-eat foods are convenient but, perhaps, not so much when it comes to your teeth. Eating fresh, crunchy produce not only contains more healthy fibre, but it's also the best choice for your teeth.
10) Limit sugary and acidic foods
Ultimately, sugar converts into acid in the mouth, which can then erode the enamel of your teeth. These acids are what lead to cavities. Acidic fruits, teas, and coffee can also wear down tooth enamel. While you don't necessarily have to avoid such foods altogether, it doesn't hurt to be mindful.
11) See your dentist at least twice a year
Your own everyday habits are crucial to your overall oral health. Still, even the most dutiful brushers and flossers need to see a dentist regularly. At minimum, you should see your dentist for cleaning and check-ups twice a year.
Dr Sharon Robinson's office, The Dental Place Cosmestix Spa is located at Winchester Business Center Shop #5. You can contact us at 876 630 4710 or WhatsApp 876 441 4872. You can also get social with us on Instagram: @Dentalcosmetixspa and Facebook: DentalCosmetixspa