How to Improve Oral Hygiene

How to Improve Oral Hygiene Using Various Tools

Your smile is among the first things that people will notice about your demeanor for good reasons! When you smile, you aren’t just giving off a friendly vibe but you’re also giving others an idea about your attitude toward oral health in particular and physical health in general.

In the following sections, we will discuss the numerous ways how to improve oral hygiene using modern tools, from the right toothbrush and toothpaste to the right flosser and tongue scrapers. We will also tackle the importance of dental health in relation to your physical and mental health – truly, as good as any reason to adopt our suggested ways how to improve dental health starting today!

The Importance of Oral Hygiene

Even the most detailed dental health tips will be of little to no use without an understanding of the importance of oral hygiene.  Keep in mind that your mouth isn’t just a place for eating but, more importantly, it’s the main gateway to your body!  Think of your body as a machine, too, in the sense that infections and injuries in your mouth will affect the other parts, such as your heart and stomach.

Bacteria buildup in the mouth, usually from skipping on your daily dental care practices, increases the risk of infection in the gums and plaque in the teeth. The immune system fights the bacteria resulting in inflamed gums, said inflammation of which will continue until the infection can be resolved.

The inflammation in the gums also causes the release of chemicals that, in turn, can eat away at the gums and teeth including the bone structure holding them in place. Periodontitis, a type of severe gum disease, then occurs that will not only affect your ability to eat well but also your body’s ability to fight infections.

Chronic inflammation over the long-term period can also increase the risk of illnesses in the body.  Scientists even believe that chronic inflammation may be behind chronic degenerative diseases, such as Alzheimer’s disease, heart disease, and osteoporosis.  In diabetes, for example, gum disease influences the body’s inability to use insulin efficiently while high glucose levels provide the ideal environment for infections including periodontitis.

The bottom line: When you take good care of your mouth, from your teeth and gums to your tongue, you may well enjoy a healthier and longer life!

But there’s more to brushing your teeth three times a day when you want to know the best ways how to improve oral health. You should also know the details – what toothpaste to use, how to brush your teeth and for how long, and how to use a flosser and tongue scraper.

Importance of Oral Hygiene

Brushing Your Teeth Properly

Proper dental hygiene starts with brushing your teeth. Keep in mind that brushing should remove plaque, the sticky substance on the surface of your teeth and gums that can harden when left as is. Plaque buildup can result in cavities, gum disease, and other infections in the mouth.

Brushing is obviously the best way how to improve your teeth. But there are certain things that you must know first including the following:

  • Brush your teeth for two minutes.
  • Brush your teeth after every meal.
  • Apply a gentle yet firm pressure (i.e., about 150 grams of pressure or the weight of an average orange) when brushing.
  • Use a soft-bristled brush because it can effectively remove debris and plaque from your teeth. You may also use a small-headed toothbrush for reaching the hard-to-reach areas in your mouth, such as the back teeth. You can use either a manual or an electronic toothbrush; the latter is useful for people who have limited dexterity in their hands or fingers.  Tip: Replace your toothbrush once every three months or when it’s showing signs of wear, such as bristles bending to the sides. Replace it, too, after you have a cold since using it can increase the risk of reinfection. Tip: Use the right toothpaste, too. You can ask your doctor about it, especially when you have special needs in it, such as sensitive teeth or teeth with cavities.
  • Tilt your toothbrush at a 45° angle against your gum line. Roll it away from your gum line, too, so as not to injure your gums with its bristles.

We also suggest dividing your mouth into four imaginary quadrants so that you can give each one the proper brushing attention it deserves. These quadrants are the upper right, the upper left, the lower left, and the lower right with each quadrant requiring about 30 seconds of gentle yet firm brushing.  Be sure to move through the quadrants in the same sequence every time so that it becomes a habit.

Remember these tips on oral hygiene, brushing-wise:

  • Clean each quadrant separately so that you don’t miss out on any quadrant; the upper and lower quadrants usually overlap, thus, the tip. Be sure to clean your teeth’s inside, outside and chewing surfaces.
  • Pay extra attention to your back teeth, as well as the areas around dental restoration work, such as crowns and fillings.
  • Gently brush your gums with special attention on your gum lines.

Brushing your teeth is among the pillars of healthy oral hygiene but it isn’t the only one obviously.

Brush Your Teeth Properly

Using a Water Flosser Properly

Yet another effective way how to improve dental hygiene is the proper and regular use of a water flosser.  While it may not seem like it, the regular and proper use of a water flosser is a great way of improving gum health, too! The water’s pulsating action stimulates the tissues in the gums.

A water flosser also removes food particles, bacteria, and plaque from your teeth, just as with a dental string floss. But the former is more comfortable and effective, as well as easier to use even for the back teeth.

But it’s only effective as a way how to improve gum health quickly if and when it’s used well. A few tips in this regard:

  • Follow the preparatory steps for filling the water flosser, from filling the reservoir to setting it on a flat surface like a sink.
  • Lean over the sink so that the overflow will flow into it.
  • Place the tip in your mouth.
  • Turn on the unit.
  • Close your lips so that there will be little to no splashes.
  • Start flossing your back teeth. Use a 90° angle when aiming for your gum line.
  • Move the tip along your gums, too.
  • Turn off the unit and remove the tip.

You can use the water flosser for two minutes, too – 30 seconds on each quadrant, just as you would with a toothbrush.

Use a Water Flosser Properly

Using Regular Floss Properly

If you don’t have a water flosser yet, you can use a regular dental floss instead. It’s also a great way how to improve your gum health because the floss also removes food particles and plaque in areas where your toothbrush cannot reach. These include between your teeth and under your gum line.

There’s a proper way to use a regular dental floss, too:

  • Cut about 18 inches of floss from its container.
  • Wind most of it around each of your middle fingers but leave 1-2 inches for flossing your teeth.
  • Place it around the base of the tooth being flossed and be sure to go beneath its gum line.
  • Use a back-and-forth motion to remove the food particles and plaque trapped between your teeth.
  • Use a clean section of floss on every tooth.
  • Rinse with water after finishing all of the areas between your teeth.

Use Floss Properly

Using Mouthwash Properly

If you want to improve teeth and gum health even more, you should use a mouthwash, too. A mouthwash can freshen your breath, protect your teeth against acids, and treat infections.

A few points to remember:

  • Dilute the mouthwash, if needed. Use the right amount, as indicated on the label.
  • Use after brushing and flossing your teeth; it isn’t a substitute for good dental care.
  • Swish the mouthwash in your mouth for 30-60 seconds.
  • Spit it afterwards.
  • Wait for 30 minutes before drinking and eating, even smoking, after rinsing your mouth with mouthwash.

Use Mouthwash Properly

Using a Tongue Scraper Properly

No set of tips for good dental health will be complete without mentioning the use of the best tongue scrapers.  A few tips in using it well:

  • Use it either before or after brushing your teeth.
  • Start by gently scraping it at the back of your tongue and working your way forward.
  • Clean both the top and sides of your tongue.
  • Do a few passes but don’t overdo it.
  • Rinse your mouth afterwards.
  • Clean the scraper after use.

Now that you know these tips for healthy teeth and gum, there’s no reason not to adopt them ASAP!

Use Tongue Scraper Properly

About the Author Samantha Brown

Growing up as a kid who played outside, Samantha enjoys an active lifestyle and emphasizes health as a key component to her life. She enjoys sharing her knowledge with others so that anybody can live a healthy life. On the weekends, you can find her hiking around Southern California!

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