Last Updated on 8 months by Isreal Olabanji DST RN
Having healthy, presentable white teeth has so many benefits. Not to be shallow, but in this age of selfies and Instagram, a good smile is a very valuable asset.
With that being said, sometimes just brushing your teeth every morning and before you sleep simply wouldn’t cut it. You will need to also have healthy oral hygiene habits to maintain both health and appearance.
Don’t forget, bad dental hygiene can also lead to various mouth and teeth diseases, that can be painful, permanent, and in some cases like oral cancer, deadly.
So, here we will share 8 of the best oral hygiene tips for healthy, white teeth. Let’s start with the first:
Brush Twice a Day For Two-Minutes Each
Most of us brush regularly, but some only brush once a day (or even, not at all), and some others brush too fast. According to the American Dental Association (ADA) suggested taking at least two minutes to brush your teeth, twice daily. If it helps, you might want to set up a timer or listen to a two-minute song (or watch a YouTube video).
This is a seemingly obvious tip, but also the most essential if you want healthy, white teeth. Quantity, however, is not the only important thing, and so let’s move on to the next one.
The Right Brushing Technique
First things first, your teeth are not the only thing in your mouth needs brushing. There’s also your tongue, your gum, and the roof of your mouth.
First, point the brush at a 45-degree near the gum line, so the bristles of your bush are in contact with both your gums and your teeth. Use short, controlled back and forth strokes across the tops and sides of your teeth. Then, use shorter strokes to brush the backs of the front anterior teeth while holding your brush vertically.
Repeat the same procedure for the inner surfaces of your gum and teeth, then proceed to brush the surfaces of your tongue and the roof of your mouth.
Another thing to remember is to brush lightly. Brushing your mouth too hard can do more harm if you are not careful.
Using The Right Brush
We all have different mouth sizes, and so the most important thing when choosing your brush is to look for one that is small enough to reach the spaces between your molar teeth. These crevices are where plaque and food waste often hide, so pay extra attention.
Most adults require a small or medium-sized brush for this, and you might also want to look for one with a comfortable handle.
Brushing your teeth (and your mouth) is effective in cleaning the surface of your teeth, tongue, and gum, but brushing alone can’t effectively clean the spaces between the teeth, where debris can build up and do you harm in the long run.
With this being said, floss regularly at least once a day. Flossing can get rid of food wastes between the teeth, as well as other harmful substances.
The Proper Diet For Your Teeth
You might want to check out this list for the best and worst foods for healthy teeth.
In general, avoid sugary food, especially candies that stick in your teeth. Soda and alcohol are also big nos for your teeth healthy, as they contain phosphorus that can deplete the calcium level of your body. This can lead to tooth decay and other mouth-related diseases. Soda, in particular, is both sugary and acidic, which are extremely detrimental to your teeth.
Avoid eating snacks after you’ve brushed your teeth, or you’ll need to brush again. Having a snack then sleeping without brushing can allow food debris (and often, sugar) to linger for too long and invites bacteria.
Tobacco consumption—in any form— can stain and damage your teeth, while also put you at risk of various periodontal diseases including oral cancer.
However, it’s okay to consume sodas and alcohol moderately, and using a straw can be effective to avoid direct contact with your teeth.
Proper Maintenance of Your Brush
No, you don’t need special equipment or even method to keep your toothbrush clean. All you need to do is to simply rinse your brush after each use, and allow it to air dry. Using toothbrush covers, in fact, can encourage bacteria growth.
Avoid sharing your toothbrush with others, even your children and spouse.
Also, make sure to change your brush every three or four months. Toothbrush bristles deteriorate with use, and so will lose effectiveness over time. This can lead to more harm than good if you are not careful.
Mouthwash, being liquid in nature, can help clean places unreachable by toothbrushes and flosses. It is also especially effective to clean the gumline, where if kept unclean, can give you a risk of gingivitis or gum inflammation.
So, make a habit of mouthwash at least once a day, after you brush your teeth at night. There are plenty of different mouthwash products available with different tastes and strength. Choose the one you are comfortable with, and consult your dentist if you have, for example, sensitive gums.
Regular Dental Checkup
Even after you’ve brushed and flossed your teeth regularly, it’s no excuse to avoid regular dental checkups. Most of these visits will just be regular oral checkups and teeth cleaning, but sometimes it will prevent what’s otherwise going to be long-term damage.
There are going to be oral and dental issues we won’t be able to identify by ourselves, so make a habit to visit a dentist at least twice a year. We all know how annoying and painful tooth decays can be, so it’s better to prevent than suffer later.
One important thing to remember about maintaining oral hygiene is that consistency is the most important thing.
Brushing your teeth one time will not magically transform your teeth into the ideal Hollywood version of white teeth, but doing it every day will work wonders for your appearance and oral health.
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