If there is one thing most of us aspire to have, it’s the perfect smile. Perfectly aligned teeth and healthy ones at that are what put a spring in your step, give you confidence and create a great first impression with everyone you meet.

When you look good on the outside, you tend to feel good on the inside too! With that said, it’s imperative you focus on maintaining excellent oral hygiene.

Unfortunately, there are all kinds of temptations in our paths that can derail and impact your teeth and gums. From junk food to smoking, here are some of the dos and don’ts of oral hygiene you need to follow and strictly avoid!

Do Use the Right Toothbrush

We’re all aware of how important it is to brush our teeth twice a day. However, when was the last time you replaced your toothbrush? If you can’t remember, it’s time to buy a new one. Amazingly, millions of Americans are using the same toothbrush they’ve had for years! You don’t want to follow suit – trust us! If you use a manual toothbrush, the bristles will get worn out after several months. This means when you brush, your teeth and gums won’t be getting the full benefits. 

Now is the time to consider switching your toothbrush to an electric one. Electric toothbrushes are more effective at reaching every corner of the mouth, leaving your teeth squeaky clean. These devices are also great for those with limited mobility, and some even come with built-in timers so you know when it’s time to stop brushing. 

Don’t Brush Aggressively

Speaking of brushing, many people aren’t using the right technique. If you’re always in a rush in the morning, you may be brushing aggressively without even realizing before you head out the door. Over time, this type of brushing can irritate your gums, increase your risk of gum disease, and even lead to tooth loss. Understandably, these are problems you don’t want to be dealing with!

Now is the time to reassess how you brush. Rather than using a firm back-and-forth motion when you brush, try brushing in small circular motions. Should you continue doing the former, you could be removing the enamel that is there to protect your teeth. Once you start brushing in a circular motion, you’ll be amazed at the difference in how your teeth and gums look!

Do Look into Cosmetic Treatments

When it comes to maintaining good oral health, there are some things that are just out of your control. Even if you’re brushing and flossing regularly, as well as watching what you eat, you may have overcrowding or crooked teeth that can put you in the firing line for gum disease. Thankfully, there are options out there to treat these issues and protect your oral health. One of the most obvious being braces.

While you may think of fixed, metal braces to begin with, you’ll be surprised at how many teeth straightening options are available. In fact, more and more Americans are opting for clear aligners. ALIGNERCO are experts in this field. They even have nighttime aligners that you can pop in as you sleep and take out in the morning. There are an array of benefits linked with clear aligners. For example, they’re essentially invisible! This means if you’re worried about others noticing you’ve got braces on, you need to worry no longer. 

Don’t Ignore Tooth Pain

We’ve all been there. You’re going about your day and then a sharp shooting pain arises out of nowhere in your mouth. Because the pain comes and goes within a second, many people simply forget about it and carry on with what they’re doing. However, this doesn’t mean nothing is wrong! If you notice any tooth pain, you should see a dentist and get yourself checked over. 

If you ignore tooth pain, it’s unlikely the pain is going to go away. Should you find the pain is getting worse, you could be putting your oral health at risk. There are many things that can cause tooth pain, such as decay, a dental abscess, a damaged or cracked tooth, and a broken or loose filling. Because there are so many causes, only a dentist will be able to accurately pinpoint the problem.

Do Floss Daily

While it’s drilled into us to brush twice a day, you need to get into the habit of flossing. You only have to floss once a day too. It’s advised to do this before you go to sleep, rather than first thing in the morning. This is because you could have all kinds of food particles and plaque wreaking havoc on your teeth and gums as you sleep.

Flossing is brilliant for preventing tartar build-up, bad breath, and gum disease. What’s more, flossing is more effective than brushing alone. As you start flossing once a day, you may lower your risk of gum disease and tooth decay. Just make sure you’re flossing up and down against each tooth, rather than back and forth. The latter can irritate the gumline and cause bleeding.

Don’t Overload on Sweets and Junk Food

It’s safe to say we’re a nation of sweet and fast-food lovers. Just about everywhere you go, there seems to be fast food outlets and candy to gorge on. While we’re not doubting how amazing they taste, too much of the stuff can be terrible for your teeth and gums. It’s important to follow a balanced diet. This means lowering your sugar intake. Overconsumption of sugar is significantly linked to tooth decay.

With this all said, it’s time to start looking at healthier options that are not only good for your teeth and gums but overall health. For example, eating five fruits and vegetables each day are brilliant for keeping your weight in check, lowering blood pressure, and preventing gum disease. 

Do See Your Dentist

Speaking of dentists, make sure you see yours twice a year. It’s important to go for checkups so you can get an overview on your teeth and gums. Even if you feel your oral health is in check, there may be problems below the gumline that you’re not even aware of. Because of this, seeing your dentist and getting X-rays is essential.

We understand the fear of going to the dentist. Some people are more than happy to climb in the chair and open their mouths, whereas others are petrified at the idea of someone prodding their gums. If you resonate with the latter, you may benefit from listening to relaxing music during your appointment or bringing a loved one along for support. Whatever you do, don’t put off seeing your dentist as they’re there to help you, not to cast judgment. 

While these may all sound like a lot of rules to follow or avoid, when it comes to keeping your teeth and gums in excellent health, they’re essential! It’s never too late to start paying attention to your oral health too. As long as you see your dentist regularly, watch what you eat, and remember to brush and floss each day, these practices can go a long way in maintaining good oral health. 

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