White teeth are not only a sign for health and a reason for a beautiful smile, but they strengthen your self-confidence. Having a clean mouth and teeth prevents different infections and diseases. Beyond brushing and flossing there are certain aspects that you should take into account to enjoy a white and bright smile.
Main Street Dental presents some things you should do to have an appropriate oral hygiene:
- Choose the right toothpaste for your teeth.
Toothpaste with fluoride is useful for removing food debris and plaque from teeth and gums. It prevents tooth decay and strengthens tooth enamel, fighting away bacteria that cause cavities. Whitening toothpastes contain mild abrasives such as magnesium carbonate, hydrated aluminum oxides and calcium carbonate that remove surface stains. They also contain a small percentage of hydrogen peroxide, a bleaching agent that helps remove stains. Used frequently, it can cause sensitivity. It is recommended to alternate a whitening toothpaste with a sensitivity one every day. If you have a sensitivity with fluoride, you can use a whitening toothpaste that contains xylitol, green tea extract, papaya plant extract, citric acid, zinc citrate or baking soda.
- Pick an appropriate toothbrush, manual or electric.
You can ask your dentist which toothbrush is suitable for your needs. A soft bristled toothbrush is the best option for sensitive teeth and gums.
- Replace your toothbrush every three to four months to avoid the accumulation of bacteria between the bristles which can cause plaque, enamel wear or mouth infections.
- Brush your teeth twice a day.
It is an essential aspect for your dental routine. It is recommended to brush your teeth twice a day for two minutes with a soft-bristled toothbrush. Place your toothbrush at a 45 degree angle to the gums and move it back and forth in short, tooth-wide strokes, brushing outer, chewing and inner surfaces of your teeth. Also clean the inside surface of the front teeth. Keep the brush vertically and make up and down moves. Brush your tongue to remove bacteria and keep your breath fresh.
- Pick an appropriate floss.
Flossing is one of the most important aspect for an adequate oral hygiene. Floss is made from synthetic nylon or plastic filaments treated with flavoring agents to make flossing more pleasant or is waxed to be softer. There are also different types of organic flosses made from silk. Flossing helps remove plaque from the areas between the teeth. Pay attention to this process and do not floss too hard as you can damage the tissue between your teeth. First times the process can be painful, but if you make it correctly, you’ll get used with it and the pain will disappear within a week or two. Never use again the same piece of floss as you’ll reintroduce bacteria into your mouth.
- Use a mouthwash before brushing to freshen your breath, strengthen enamel and loosen plaque or kill bacteria that cause gingivitis. Use mouthwash for two or three minutes after brushing and having meals. Take care to choose the type of mouthwash that best suits you. To avoid alcohol, choose a mouthwash that contains natural emulsifiers like vegetable oil, sodium bicarbonate or sodium chloride and plant extracts like peppermint, cinnamon or lemon.
- Use a water pick which helps blast stuck-on food from the surface and between the cracks of the teeth and gums. It is pressure water, ideal to cleanse the mouth after meals.
- If necessary, use interdental cleansers, small and tiny brushes for the spaces between the teeth caused by braces, missing teeth or gum surgery.
- Use oral irrigators, electrical devices that pump water to spaces between teeth or in braces and remove the debris.
- Rinse your mouth with water after each meal or after drinking caffeinated beverages to remove the rests of food or residue from the teeth. Drinking water is an easy and healthy method to keep your mouth clean.
- Avoid cigarettes as they are harmful for your teeth and generate stains, gum disease, slow healing after a tooth extract or surgery. They also create a specific smell and bad breathe.
Should you keep in mind all these advises and apply them daily, you’ll have a wonderful smile and you’ll enjoy your happy and healthy teeth.