A bright white smile with healthy teeth is considered an ideal of beauty. To maintain this in the long term, however, careful and regular oral hygiene is required. It helps prevent diseases such as tooth decay and periodontitis and leaves a fresh mouthfeel.
But brushing your teeth alone is not enough. According to Dentist Phoenix, these five tips on the subject of oral hygiene show which measures optimally complement daily dental care and ensure healthy teeth in the long term.
1. Proper brushing creates the basis for healthy teeth
Tooth cleaning with a toothbrush forms the basis for good oral hygiene. The bristles remove coarse plaque and food residues and thus remove the breeding ground for harmful bacteria. For an optimal result, adults and children should reach for the brush for two to three minutes at least twice a day. Ideal times are in the morning after breakfast and in the evening before bedtime. After sweet or sour drinks and snacks, we recommend brushing your teeth in between and not waiting until the evening.
How clean the teeth are after brushing, however, depends not only on the frequency and duration of cleaning but also on the toothbrushing technique. “Scrubbing” hardly removes any coverings; it harms teeth and gums more than it helps. The following techniques have proven themselves when using a manual toothbrush:
- Stillmann: The brush “sweeps” from the gums towards the tooth (from red to white).
- Bass: The brush is slightly angled towards the gums and makes circular and shaking movements.
2. Dental floss and interdental brushes enter the interdental spaces
Most toothbrushes find it difficult to get into the narrow interdental spaces. But it is precisely here that food residues accumulate, in which bacteria multiply and lead to serious diseases of teeth and gums. To eliminate these residues, we recommend the use of dental floss after brushing. Whether with aroma or waxed is a question of taste and secondary for oral hygiene.
Regular and correct application is important: For this purpose, a piece of dental floss about five centimeters long is separated and wrapped with one side around the middle finger. On tension, it is now inserted into the interdental space and moved slightly from bottom to top, which transports the food residues outside. Tip: For good cleaning, the diameter of the dental floss or interdental brush should match the interdental spaces.
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3. Tongue scrapers and brushes remove stubborn coatings
Cleaning the tongue is often neglected. And this is even though bacteria and germs remain on their surface, which can lead to bad breath, caries, and periodontitis. However, these are mainly located on the posterior third of the tongue and are therefore difficult to reach. A tongue brush or tongue scraper can help remove these plaques. Cleaning follows brushing and cleaning the gaps with dental floss:
- Dip the tongue scraper in mouthwash or brush with a little toothpaste.
- With the scraper under gentle pressure from back to front stroke over the tongue.
- Repeat the process until the entire tongue coating is loosened.
- Rinse your mouth with water or mouthwash.
4. Chewing gum helps neutralize harmful acids
After eating or drinking, acids form in the mouth, which attacks the tooth enamel and deprives it of important minerals. Chewing a sugar-free chewing gum stimulates the production of alkaline (basic) saliva. It helps to neutralize these aggressive acids and rinse them away. In this way, the lost minerals are returned to the tooth, which reduces the risk of developing tooth damage.
For the desired effect to occur, the chewing gum must be chewed for at least 15 to 20 minutes. While this is not a substitute for brushing your teeth, it is a good way to bridge situations where there is no toothbrush at hand.
5. Mouthwash kills bacteria and germs
Mouthwash alone does not prevent caries or periodontitis. However, it is still a useful addition to brushing your teeth and can therefore be integrated into the daily oral hygiene ritual. Numerous rinses are available in a wide variety of flavors.
The mode of action is the same for all products: the antibacterial solution rinses the teeth and also reaches the hard-to-reach interdental spaces, where it kills bacteria and germs. The other components of the mouthwash solutions ensure a fresh mouthfeel and a pleasant breath.
Too often, however, the mouthwashes should not be used, as they often contain alcohol in high concentrations (about 30 percent). However, some alternatives abstain from alcohol and are enriched with fluoride. The killing effect on bacteria and germs is identical.
In addition: Twice a year for professional tooth cleaning (PZR)
Those who take all these tips into account significantly reduce their risk of dental disease. But even despite motivated oral hygiene, it is not always possible to reach all areas in the mouth or to remove particularly stubborn deposits. Twice a year, professional tooth cleaning in the dental practice is also recommended.
A prophylaxis specialist uses special instruments to remove existing dental plaque and eliminate bacteria responsible for caries or periodontitis. Many supplementary dental insurance policies cover the costs proportionately or completely.