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What Is Good Oral Hygiene?

Published date field Last Updated:

Medically Reviewed By Colgate Global Scientific Communications

Does your daily routine include taking care of your mouth? Good oral hygiene is vital for your overall health. Also known as dental hygiene, oral hygiene consists of a routine of cleaning your teeth and gums. Proper oral care helps lead to healthy teeth, healthy gums, and fresh breath. Find out how to start your day with a good oral hygiene routine with these tips.

Instructions for Good Oral Hygiene

According to the Mayo Clinic, oral hygiene is vital for your teeth and gums, and poor oral health can affect your overall health and is a risk factor for illnesses such as heart disease and diabetes. Here are some oral hygiene instructions to try:

  • Brush at least twice a day for two minutes each time
  • Clean between your teeth every day using floss, interdental brushes, floss picks, or water flossers. Make sure that you do not skip any teeth.
  • Use toothpaste or mouthwash that contains fluoride
  • Go to your dentist for preventive care twice a year
  • Follow your dentist's treatment plan and dental hygienist's oral hygiene recommendations

Healthy teeth and gums can make you look and feel better, help you eat and talk comfortably, and can save you money in healthcare costs later.

Talk to Your Dental Hygienist about Oral Hygiene

If you notice your gums are bleeding, painful, or tender and swollen, call your dentist. Your dentist or dental hygienist can make recommendations about home care, including demonstrating proper brushing and flossing techniques, oral hygiene products, and possible treatment options.

Best Brushing Technique in 3 Steps

Image 1: Angle the brush at a 45° angle toward your gumline and gently brush using a small circular motion on the front and back surfaces of the teeth

Image 2: Gently brush the biting surface with short, back-and-forth strokes

Image 3: Freshen your breath by gently brushing the surface of your tongue

Best Flossing Technique in 3 Steps

Image 1: Use an 18-inch piece of dental floss

Image 2: Insert the floss between two teeth, being careful not to snap the floss through, or you may injure your gum. Wrap the floss around the tooth, forming a C shape

Image 3: Gently slide the floss up and down along one side of the tooth, then repeat by reversing the C shape to the other tooth

Preventive care like proper brushing and flossing can help prevent gingivitis or gum disease before they develop. Daily oral hygiene promotes good oral and general health, and it is an essential part of self-care.

Oral Care Center articles are reviewed by an oral health medical professional. This information is for educational purposes only. This content is not intended to be a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. Always seek the advice of your dentist, physician or other qualified healthcare provider. 

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