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How to Keep Your Teeth Healthy

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How to Keep Your Teeth Healthy

The first impression you make on someone is your smile. Open your mouth, and people will instantly notice whether you have white and clean teeth or if they are yellow and stained.

If they’re standing close enough, there’s the risk of the smell of bad breath at close range. Keep your mouth closed, and people might notice your awkward smile or wonder if you’re not that happy to see them. If you aren’t happy with your smile, it can have a significant impact on your confidence.
However, the purpose of maintaining oral hygiene is more than just the cosmetic benefits.

Poor oral habits can lead to bad breath, teeth discolouration, and dentistry problems such as periodontitis, gum disease, tooth decay, and a receding gum line. In fact, many people make mistakes when cleaning their teeth.

They might be brushing too hard, forgetting to floss or use mouthwash, and not seeing a dentist.

Going to a dentist for professional teeth cleaning regularly can help to remove plaque buildup below and above the gum line. It can give you fresher breath and a healthier-looking smile.

Table of Contents

Dental Hygiene at Home

Mother and daugther brushing teeth together

Taking care of your teeth at home is the first step to ensuring that they are clean and healthy. Maintain healthy oral hygiene by brushing your teeth, using fluoride toothpaste and mouthwash, and flossing regularly.

However, at-home dental care is insufficient. It is essential to have regular professional cleanings so that the dental hygienist can identify possible problems and address them before they become severe.


How to Brush Your Teeth Without Damaging Them

One of the biggest mistakes that people make when it comes to cleaning their teeth is brushing too hard.

Brushing your teeth too hard can cause your gums to recede and the enamel to wear down over time. Here’s the correct way to brush your teeth.
First, make sure to wet your toothbrush and place a pea-size amount of toothpaste onto the middle of the brush. Avoid brushing your teeth back and forth because it will expose the root of the tooth, making them extra sensitive.

Instead, you want to brush at a 45-degree angle and in a circular motion. Make sure to brush all three sides of the teeth – the inside, outside, and the chewing surfaces.

Apply gentle pressure while brushing. Make sure to brush the gum line as that is where plaque can start to build up.

Brush for at least 2 minutes. That is the time it normally takes for someone to brush every part of their teeth properly. Someone brushing for less than 2 minutes is highly likely to be missing out on cleaning some parts of their mouth.

In fact, it’s recommended that you spend 30 seconds brushing each quadrant of your teeth (upper right, upper left, lower right, and lower left).

Consider the type of toothbrush bristles that you are using. Most people should use flat, angled, multilevel, or rippled-style bristles. If you have sensitive teeth, it’s best to use extra-soft and tapered bristles.


Flossing and Using Mouthwash

Women flossing her teeth

Fluoride toothpaste, flossing, and mouthwash should be used regularly to keep your teeth and gums healthy.

Brush your teeth with fluoride toothpaste, floss, and use mouthwash daily to maintain proper oral health.

It’s recommended to use mouthwash twice per day to keep your breath fresh and prevent plaque and gingivitis. For good oral hygiene, swish the mouthwash in your mouth for 30 seconds to one minute. Make sure you don’t swallow it.

Avoid eating or drinking for about 20 to 30 minutes after using mouthwash to avoid rinsing the fluoride off the tooth surface. Fluoride can help to strengthen your enamel for better dental health.

Flossing can help to prevent tooth decay and should be done two or three times per day. Even toothbrushes such as an electric toothbrush or interdental brushes are no replacement for flossing daily.

Wind the floss around the middle finger from each hand, leaving only one or two inches of floss to use. Slide the floss gently and down between the thin gaps of your teeth. Curve the floss at the base of each tooth.

As you move around your teeth, use clean sections of your floss. Avoid flossing with excessive pressure as it may cut your gums.

Seeing a Dental Hygienist

Seeing a dental hygienist might seem like a chore, especially if you feel that there’s nothing wrong with your teeth.

However, the beginning stages of gum disease are not always easily detected, and getting regular check-ups is key to a clean and healthy smile. Here’s why you should see a dental hygienist regularly, how often you should go, and what to expect during your visit.


Why Should You Visit a Hygienist

There are many benefits to seeing a dental hygienist, such as:

  • Gum disease prevention
  • Cavity prevention
  • Protect your teeth from tooth decay
  • Detect early signs of dental problems
  • Keep your teeth clean, white and shiny
  • Eradicates bad breath

Going for treatments with a dental hygienist is painless and it is essential to do so to maintain healthy teeth.

It is imperative that you don’t miss appointments so that you don’t let small problems turn into serious ones that can be difficult to deal with.


How Often Should You Go

Depending on your circumstances, the frequency in which you will need to have your teeth professionally cleaned will vary. Generally, you’ll want to visit a dental hygienist once every six months.

However, those who have health conditions or are at risk of gum disease should visit a dental hygienist at least three times a year.

These groups of people include smokers, pregnant women, people with diabetes, those who are prone to cavities, have a weak immune system, or already have gum disease.


What Happens During the Appointment

Women having her teeth cleaned

If you’re new to teeth cleaning or haven’t gone for one for a long time, you might feel uncomfortable about going.

Fortunately, dental cleaning is a painless process. Here’s what you need to know about what happens during professional teeth cleaning when you book a dental hygiene appointment.

The dental checkup starts with a physical exam of your mouth. The dental hygienist will examine your teeth using a dental mirror and ultrasonic instruments.

They will look for signs of gum disease such as gingivitis and periodontitis or a receding gum line.

Next, the hygienist will remove the tartar build-up and plaque with a scaler. Usually, flossing and brushing can help to remove plaque from building up.

However, once tartar hardens, you can only get rid of it by seeing a dentist at their dental practice who has specialised tools to remove the tartar.

Once the tartar is removed, the hygienist will begin the teeth whitening process. They use a high-powered electric tool to polish your teeth. At this point, you might hear loud grinding noises but this process is not harmful to your teeth. While it can be uncomfortable – your hygienist will work slower to prevent any pain and help you feel as comfortable as possible.

After you rinse your mouth, a fluoride treatment is applied to your teeth, which helps protect your teeth against cavities and can last for a few months.

Your dental hygienist may also provide cosmetic treatments and airflow therapy to get rid of surface stains. Besides the bi-annual teeth cleaning, your dental hygienist may provide additional exams such as dental X-rays and dental impressions.

This will enable them to detect potential problems such as tooth decay, gum disease, cysts, nasal polyps, and abnormalities in tooth structure.

Book An Appointment

Keeping your teeth clean can prevent dental problems such as gum disease and tooth decay, remove stains, get rid of bad breath, and ensure you always have pearly white teeth.

Many people don’t practice good dental hygiene habits such as proper brushing technique, flossing, and mouthwash.

Even if you practice these habits, you’ll still need to have your teeth professionally cleaned twice a year, so the dental hygienist can detect any potential issues and treat them early.

At Bespoke Smile, we offer professional cleaning appointments with our trained hygienists and dentists to help you achieve a beautiful smile.

Written by Dr. Sam Jethwa
Written by Dr. Sam Jethwa

BDS (Lon) MFDS RCS (Edin) PgDip ClinEd (UK)
Areas of expertise: Smile makeovers using ultra-thin porcelain veneers, smile design to restore worn teeth and advanced full mouth restorative dentistry.

“A perfect, natural, or bespoke smile is possible to achieve for anyone. There is no substitute for the feeling of confidence an individual and beautiful smile can give. We have developed techniques, which we teach to dentists across the UK and abroad, to help them better their care in their clinics. I believe in comprehensively treating every patient, to bring them up to absolute health, and then put in place maintenance to avoid patients from recurrent replacements, and further treatment. It is a passion for me to deliver an unrivalled experience and end result, which stands the test of time”

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