As we’ve said before, your teeth are meant to last a lifetime, giving you years of healthy smiles. And while genetics and circumstances play some role in that, the biggest factor in determining your oral health is your oral health care regime. Your oral hygiene practices do more than anything else to keep your teeth healthy and long-lasting. At a time in which we’re all thinking about our health and our habits a bit differently, it may be time to also consider upgrading your oral health. As it turns out, there are a few tips and tricks that you can use to easily take your oral health to the next level, so let’s talk about upgrading your oral hygiene.

Let’s start with brushing, which is foundational to oral health in so many ways. Everyone brushes their teeth a bit differently, but some approaches are more effective than others. When you brush your teeth, we suggest you start with the back of your mouth. That’s where debris is most likely to accumulate, and it’s the best place to start removing it. While brushing, it’s important to clean both your teeth and your gums. Debris and bacteria accumulate on your gums as well, and removing them helps prevent a number of dental health complications including gingivitis.

While we’re on the subject of brushing, it’s important to use the right toothbrush and to care for it appropriately. Using a soft-bristled brush is generally better for the teeth and gums, as soft bristles are less abrasive and thus less likely to damage the enamel of the teeth. You should replace your toothbrush as soon as the bristles start showing wear and tear. A worn-out brush is far less effective in cleaning the teeth than a well-maintained new one.

Second, only to brushing, flossing is the most powerful tool we have in maintaining oral health on a daily basis. It’s easy to upgrade your flossing by switching to high-quality dental floss designed to better remove debris and bacteria from between the teeth. You can also upgrade your flossing habits–we recommend flossing twice a day if not after every meal. And it costs nothing extra to make sure you’re using a good flossing technique, so take a refresher and make sure you’re doing it right.

Bacteria accumulate in places other than your mouth. When was the last time you cleaned your toothbrush holder or the surface upon which you keep your brush, floss, and toothpaste? By keeping them clean you’ll help keep your mouth clean, so scrub them down regularly for best results.

Finally, we should talk about diet. We all know by now that excess sugars and starches are bad for our teeth and should be avoided if at all possible. On the other hand, there are foods that are good for our teeth and help promote oral health, Some of these include celery, pears, carrots or apples, which can help scrub the teeth clean, and mineral-rich greens like spinach, collards, and kale, which can help supply the nutrients teeth need to stay healthy. By focusing on a healthy diet, you’ll be on the way to upgrading your oral hygiene.

We hope you can put some of these ideas into practice at home. As paramount as your daily oral health care routine is, you also need regular trips to the dentist for exams and cleanings. This gives your dentist a chance to check up on how your teeth are doing and head off any problems before they grow too large. If you need an exam, cleaning, or another issue, get in touch with us today. We’ll make an appointment and our friendly staff will take you through the process.