There are many misconceptions out there when it comes to best oral hygiene practices. There is a lot more to maintaining a gleaming smile than brushing and flossing. The appearance of our teeth and subsequently our smile is a contributing factor to our confidence and factors like teeth staining and discolouration can negatively impact this. Oral care is now a billion dollar industry with thousands of products on the market claiming to whiten, clean and refresh the appearance of our teeth. With such a saturation of oral care products on the markets, it’s hard to keep up with the latest oral hygiene do’s and don’ts. Aside from enhancing our external appearance oral hygiene plays a major role in our overall health with gum disease being linked to health issues such as stroke, heart disease and diabetes. Here are some ways to take your oral care regime to the next level:
This is a given and something you should be doing twice a day. Two minutes is still the golden number when it comes to brushing and your brush should be held at a 45-degree angle pointed towards the gums. A pro tip: avoid brushing your teeth directly after consuming acidic foods and drink such as orange juice, red wine, soda and tomato as this can soften the enamel of your teeth making them more susceptible to decay. Wait thirty to sixty minutes for best results.
Flossing once a day is recommended to maintain oral hygiene. Flossing directly removes debris from the teeth and is considered the second most important thing to do after brushing. Pro tip: Ensure you floss the back of your teeth to make sure all debris is removed from the mouth. The back of the mouth is often plagued with the greatest amount of debris and bacteria.
After brushing and flossing using an antimicrobial mouthwash will further remove any bacteria left in the mouth and in the long-run will eliminate the build-up of plaque. Swish vigorously around the mouth for 30 seconds. Pro tip: Use mouthwash every single time you brush for best results.
Clean Your Tongue:
Whether it be with a brush, floss or scrapper, tongue brushing is such an important part of oral care and should be included in any oral regime. It’s said that there are 700 different forms of bacteria living in the mouth, most of these make themselves at home in the papillae’s of the tongue. A build-up of bacteria is a direct cause of gum disease, tooth decay and bad breath. As our tongues interact with all the foods and drinks we consume it’s important we clean it just as thoroughly as we would our teeth. Pro tip: Place a little bit of toothpaste to the brush before running it over your tongue.
Eat Tooth Whitening Food: A healthy lifestyle and diet help to support oral health more than you may think. Fruit and vegetables nourish our bodies and mouths simultaneously and there are some foods that can actually help your teeth to appear whiter. Fibrous, raw, coarse foods such as apples, pears, carrots, lettuce and celery scrub the surface of the teeth while being chewed, removing accumulated plaque which causes the discolouration. Pro tip: Pro-long chewing time to stimulate salvia, this neutralizes acids that erode the enamel of your teeth.