If you learned how to brush your teeth as a child, it’s probably time to brush up your skills because techniques and products have changed quite a lot. Good oral hygiene will not only keep your teeth healthy, your smile bright and your breath fresh, but will also help your overall health.
Good oral hygiene is vital for healthy teeth and gums. Through history people have tried to keep their teeth clean, using everything from specially-chewed twigs to animal bones and custom-made toothpicks.
Fortunately there’s no need to search for a tree to make your own toothbrush today – you can take your pick of specially-designed toothbrushes, interdental brushes and dental floss, along with a range of toothpastes, mouth rinses and fluoride treatments. Electric toothbrushes can provide even more efficient tooth-cleaning.
Keeping your mouth and teeth clean and healthy is not just good oral hygiene, it’s good for your general health. It also means you’ll have fresh breath and a sparkling smile.
So where do I start?
While most people know they should brush twice daily, your technique is important. And dental floss isn’t an optional extra. To brush up your skills, learn the best techniques here.
Your National Dental Care practitioner will clean and polish your teeth after your checkup – ideally this should be twice-yearly. You can also have your cleaning techniques checked, get advice on the best brushes and pastes, and any other products you should use.
A healthy diet with plenty of water should also be part of your oral hygiene program.
Dealing with dental hygiene problems
Good oral hygiene isn’t just about perfecting the cleaning process; it’s also important to know what can cause hygiene problems.
Staining is common with caffeine, red wine, sugary drinks, smoking and some medicines causing problems. Teeth whitening may help with this problem. Your dentist can advise whether this is a suitable and effective solution for you.
Bad breath is another distressing side-effect of oral hygiene or dental problems. There can be a range of reasons why it’s happening, from poor cleaning techniques, to dental issues, dry-mouth problems and other reasons. See your dentist to investigate the causes.
How do I teach my children good oral hygiene?
Children’s oral healthcare starts when their baby teeth first appear. It’s important that their first teeth are kept healthy as lingering bacterial infections can cause damage in permanent teeth. Babies and young children will need you to clean their teeth for them and they will graduate to tiny amounts of toothpaste around two years of age.
Establishing good habits while young is the key to good oral health for children. Your child should begin having regular checkups with your National Dental Care dentist from the age of two.