Oral Health Tips (Without Overdoing It)
We all want that perfect smile. We want straight white teeth and to look picture-ready all the time.
Our teeth are important and have many functions that we utilize every day. Because of that, it is essential that we take care of our teeth, gums, and even tongue. Most people try to brush, floss, use mouthwash, whitening strips, and do everything else recommended to help maintain and achieve the ideal smile.
But did you know you can overdo it? It is possible to over-brush your teeth and overdo your oral health. Over-brushing your teeth can result in sensitive teeth, gum recession, and other oral issues. So, where is the line? How can you have the best oral health without ending up hurting your teeth?
Best Oral Health Tips
While going to the dentist is great (and our dentists are knowledgeable and kind), getting dental work done can still be scary. It isn’t always the most comfortable, and many people are a little anxious about going to the dentist.
To help minimize the amount of dental work you need done, practicing good oral hygiene and taking care of your teeth are necessary. Your lifestyle and individual tooth strength and density will influence what is best for you. If you have questions about your specific situation, contact us to book an appointment with one of our qualified dentists in Idaho Falls.
Brush Before Bed
Since we were little kids, we have all been taught to brush our teeth before bed. As kids, you may have sung a song or made a game out of brushing your teeth. Now, it may just be a habit, and brushing is just you going through the motions.
When you come to the dentist, ask questions to help determine the best technique for brushing your teeth. Some people have different teeth shapes, making brushing a very personal thing.
Brushing your teeth before bed is one of the best oral health tips because there are a lot of benefits that can help keep your teeth healthy and strong. We are constantly eating during the day, and food can become built up on your teeth. Before bed, it is essential to brush your teeth thoroughly to get all the food remnants off.
If you don’t, bacteria can feed on the food remnants stuck in your teeth. Failing to brush nightly can lead to damaged enamel on your teeth, as well as cavities.
Because you are sleeping for hours on end at night, this prolonged period allows bacteria to build up and cause plaque, swollen gums, and cavities.
While brushing every night is important to keep your teeth clean and cavity-free, missing a night every once in a while is nothing to beat yourself up about. Life happens, and you fall asleep. But, brushing every night (and morning) is imperative to having good oral hygiene.
Don’t Forget Your Tongue
Just like how bacteria can build up on your teeth if you go to bed without brushing, these same bacteria can be present on your tongue. If not cleaned and brushed often, the tongue can have excess bad bacteria, which often results in bad breath.
Often, we overlook our tongue and strictly brush our teeth. After you brush your teeth, don’t forget to spend a minute brushing your tongue to remove this bad bacteria. Practicing good oral hygiene for your tongue will help your breath, as well as your overall oral cleanliness.
The bacteria on your tongue can also damage your teeth and cause cavities and other dental issues. Brushing your tongue can also help you taste your food more richly because your taste buds aren’t buried in gross bacteria. Win-win.
Replace Your Toothbrush Often
If you think about it, our toothbrushes can get pretty gross. We put them in our mouth, brush off the bacteria and food particles, and then leave them in a cup on our counter before using them again.
While this is super important and toothbrushes are imperative to your oral hygiene, you should also remember to replace them often to decrease bacteria and other germs from growing on them.
On top of the germs and bacteria, the effectiveness of toothbrushes can decrease if you use them for a prolonged period of time. Most dentists and toothbrush manufacturers recommend replacing your toothbrush every 3-4 months.
Remember to Floss
Similar to how we can forget that oral health includes your tongue, it also extends to your gums. The gums are incredibly important, and flossing every day can help keep them clean and free of bacteria buildup and other issues.
Flossing can help prevent gum disease, decrease swelling of gums, and just promote all-around oral health.
Flossing provides a ton of great benefits in general. Flossing does more than just get that pesky popcorn kernel out of your teeth. It removes tiny food particles from between your teeth. Flossing can decrease the bacteria buildup that causes cavities and help strengthen your teeth.
Flossing also helps remove plaque that can contribute to cavities and other oral problems. Flossing once a day (usually recommended at night) is usually enough to see the benefits and help promote good oral health.
Flossing can be challenging, not enjoyable, and a battle every night when you’re a kid. For a couple of ideas of how to teach your kids how to floss, check out this article.
Come Say “Hi” To Our Dentists Every 6 Months
Going to the dentist every 6 months is important to maintain good oral hygiene. Coming to the dentist allows you to have a thorough cleaning from one of our experienced hygienists and also allows you to catch any problems early.
Like most things, the longer a problem goes undetected, the more difficult it can be to fix. With cavities, the earlier they are found, the cheaper and easier they are to treat. Allowing cavities to fester can lead to more significant issues and can be painful if left untreated.
Coming every 6 months can also help you learn more about your personal oral hygiene and maintaining it. It can also help prevent future issues from happening.
If you would like to book an appointment, feel free to call our office (208) 529-0120 or contact us online, and we would be happy to assist you.
Can You Overdo Your Oral Health?
While brushing, flossing, and taking care of your oral health is a great thing, you can overdo it. There is such a thing as over-brushing and too much flossing. This can lead to more issues in the future.
Being informed about technique, using the right toothpaste, and being aware can help you have the best oral health without overdoing it.
One of the most common ways of overdoing your oral health is flossing too aggressively. Flossing has a lot of benefits, but it can also result in swollen gums, cuts, and pain if done too often or too hard.
Generally, flossing once a day is the recommended amount. Flossing more than that can expose the gum line and cause inflammation. While you may have good intentions, it is best to floss gently and not push too hard.
Flossing can be difficult and uncomfortable. Sometimes it can be easier to utilize the flossing sticks from your local drug store to make flossing more convenient and more manageable.
Brushing your teeth regularly is one of the best ways to encourage good oral health. But, a good thing like brushing your teeth can end up causing more harm than good if done too often and too aggressively.
Over-brushing your teeth can break down the protective layer of enamel around your teeth and cause “toothbrush abrasion.” It can also damage your gum line and cause it to recede, which puts your teeth at risk of more significant problems.
Over-brushing can also cause tooth sensitivity and cause your teeth to be overly sensitive to temperature.
To help reduce the risk of over brushing, it is advised that you:
- Use a soft-bristled toothbrush
- Don’t apply too much pressure
- Double-check your technique
- Wait at least an hour after eating to brush
- Use gentle toothpaste
Brushing your teeth is necessary to maintain good oral health. There are a lot of benefits, but you need to make sure you don’t over brush your teeth. If you are experiencing increased pain, sensitivity, or find your gum line receding, call us today to make an appointment.