1. Brush regularly but not aggressively
Most people know that brushing twice a day is one of the most important ways to remove plaque and bacteria and keep teeth clean. However, brushing teeth can only be effective if people use the right technique.
People should brush their teeth in small circular motions, and pay attention to the front, back and top of each tooth. This process takes 2 to 3 minutes. People should avoid jagged back and forth movement.
2. Use fluoride
Fluoride comes from an element called fluorine in the earth’s soil. Many experts believe that fluoride helps prevent tooth decay and is a common ingredient in toothpaste and mouthwash.
3. Floss once a day
Flossing can remove plaque and bacteria between the teeth that the toothbrush can’t reach. It can also help prevent bad breath by removing debris and food remaining between the teeth.
Most dental health professionals recommend gently pushing the floss all the way down to the gum line before moving the sides of the teeth up and down. It is important to avoid floss breaking back and forth between the teeth, which may cause pain and will not effectively remove plaque.
4. See a dentist regularly
Experts recommend that people go to the dentist for checkups every 6 months. During a routine dental checkup, the hygienist will clean the teeth and remove plaque and hardened tartar.
The dentist will check for visual signs of tooth decay, gum disease, oral cancer and other oral health problems. They may sometimes use dental X-rays to check for tooth decay.
5. Do not smoke
Smoking damages the body’s immune system, making it difficult for the body to heal tissues including the oral cavity. The CDC name smoking is a risk factor for gum disease, and the ADA warns that smokers may recover slowly after dental surgery.
Smoking also affects the appearance of the mouth, causing yellowing of teeth and tongue, and may bring an unpleasant smell to the breath
6. Consider a mouthwash
Some studies have shown that certain mouthwashes can benefit oral health. For example, one review found that mouthwashes containing chlorhexidine (an antibacterial ingredient) help control plaque and gingivitis. According to meta-analysis, gargle with certain essential oils is also effective.
People may wish to ask the dentist which toothpaste best suits their individual needs. Mouthwash is not a substitute for brushing and flossing, but it can complement these habits.
7. Limit sugary foods and starches
Consumption of sugar can cause tooth decay. Research continues to emphasize the important role of sugar in poor dental health outcomes. Common culprits include candies and desserts, but many processed foods also contain sugar.
The World Health Organization recommends that people limit their sugar intake to less than 10% of daily calories. The authors of the systematic review concluded that reducing it to 5% would further reduce the risk of tooth decay and other dental problems.