There is more to keeping your teeth healthy than simple brushing and flossing. You have probably been told to brush twice and to floss at least once a day since you were old enough to hold a toothbrush. But what about tongue care, diet and fluoride use? Do you know what toothbrush and mouthrinse is right for you? Brush up on your oral care with these essential habits for excellent dental health.
1. Taking Care of Your Toothbrush
For healthy teeth, take care of your toothbrush. Rinse it well after toothbrushing. Then, in an upright position, make sure to store it out in the open. Plenty of air flow around the bristles will help keep your brush dry; microorganisms that can grow on your toothbrush tend to thrive in a moist environment. When it is no longer effective, get a new one. The American Dental Association recommends replacing toothbrushes every three to four months, although with children you may need to change sooner. Keep an eye out for frayed, worn bristles.
2. Tongue Brushing
Brush your tongue to help fight the bacteria in your mouth. Tongue brushing is not only essential for keeping your teeth healthy, it also helps to stop bad breath. Try using a toothbrush with a cheek and tongue cleaner, such as the Colgate 360, so you can easily remove bacteria from your mouth every time you brush.
3. Talk to Your Dentist
Your dentist and dental hygienist are there to help you with oral care. Visit your dentist for regular check-ups and voice any questions or concerns that you may have about keeping your teeth healthy. They can help you create a daily brushing and flossing plan that is suited to the specific needs of your teeth.
4. Choose Your Beverages Wisely
What you drink can affect the health of your teeth. Beverages such as soft drinks and sugary juices have been targeted as culprits of tooth decay. Drinking less soda and more water, milk and fresh juices can help protect your teeth.
5. Use Fluoride
Fluoride is not just for kids. This natural mineral hardens tooth enamel, helping to prevent cavities. You can get fluoride from your toothpaste, some mouthrinses and in-office or at-home treatments your dental professional may provide. Talk to your dentist about what type of fluoride treatments are right for you.