How to Maintain Dental Hygiene

How to Maintain Dental Hygiene

Everyone knows dental hygiene is important, but do you know the best way to maintain it? It can be easy to forget to carry out your oral health routine or for other things to get in the way but we’re here to remind you of the importance of it and how to clean your teeth and mouth properly. 

What is meant by dental hygiene? 

Dental hygiene is the practice of maintaining oral health. By keeping up the cleanliness of your teeth and mouth, you will help to avoid problems in the future such as tooth decay and gum disease

Understanding dental hygiene and how to maintain it is important for your overall health and will mean fewer visits to the dentist, particularly for emergency dental treatment. With just a few simple steps, you and your whole family can have healthy-looking gums and teeth so you can smile happily every day and show off those pearly whites.

Why is dental hygiene important? 

Dental hygiene is important for the sake of your mouth health. Without brushing, flossing or using mouthwash, food would stay in our mouths, stuck between our teeth, feeding the bacteria in our mouths and causing our teeth to decay. A mouth full of bacteria would also cause gum disease, ulcers and even tonsillitis, all of which can be very painful and result in the loss of teeth. 

By maintaining good dental hygiene you aren’t only keeping your mouth clean but it’ll help to prevent other illnesses too. Having any kind of infection in the body produces a response of increased production of white blood cells to fight the infection, which causes the body temperature to rise, sometimes resulting in fever, as well as painful glands and swelling in the infected area.

An untreated infection in our mouths can cause each of these symptoms, which can then cause inflammation of the arteries, increasing the risk of cardiovascular disease. Some diseases can even be first spotted through problems in our mouths, such as diabetes which can cause lesions or infections in the mouth, so looking after our teeth and gums is essential for our overall health.

Brush your teeth twice a day

Taking care of your gums and teeth doesn’t need to be a troublesome task. Doing simple things every day can help to keep your gums and teeth healthy so you can avoid problems in the future, such as brushing your teeth twice a day. 

No matter how tired you are at the end of the day, you must make it part of your nightly routine to brush your teeth, otherwise the build-up of food from the day with sit in your mouth and between your teeth overnight and bacteria will begin to grow. The same goes for the morning, no matter how busy you are, making brushing your teeth in the morning a non-negotiable. 

But, it isn’t as simple as just brushing your teeth twice a day and that’s the end of it. You must make sure you are brushing your teeth properly and there are a few other things that we recommend you do too. 

How to clean your teeth properly 

As part of your brushing routine, you should include other elements to your dental hygiene too. Why stop at brushing when there is more you can do to maintain your dental health? 

Here are some tips to include in your daily oral health routine: 

  • Make sure you brush your tongue as plaque can build up here too
  • Use a fluoride toothpaste as fluoride is a defence against tooth decay 
  • Treat flossing and interdental brushing as a necessity 
  • Change your toothbrush regularly and check that it is still new-looking
  • Consider using mouthwash.  

What is fluoride toothpaste? 

Fluoride is a naturally derived mineral that helps prevent tooth decay by strengthening the tooth’s enamel, therefore giving your tooth more resistance to tooth decay. In addition to this, fluoride toothpaste can help to repair tooth decay, prevent gum disease and provide protection for sensitive teeth. 

When should I change my toothbrush?

Having a toothbrush that is fully intact and new is just as important as the action of taking care of your teeth. Be sure to use a good toothbrush that is fully intact so it can do its job properly.  A toothbrush that has bristles that are worn out and point in any other direction than straight upwards, isn’t going to clean your teeth properly. 

How can I clean between my teeth? 

Flossing is a great way to get right in between your teeth where your toothbrush cannot reach. Without cleaning between your teeth, food could get trapped and cause a build-up of bacteria. Dental floss is a dental string that will fit perfectly between your teeth with minimal force. We recommend that you floss between your teeth at least once a day. At night time is best so you are going to sleep with a clean, fresh mouth. 

Interdental brushes are a little different as they are tiny brushes that fit in between the tiny gaps between your gum and teeth that your brush is too big to reach. These areas are particularly at risk of gum disease because the gaps hold onto food and without interdental brushes, the food sits there and causes bacteria to build up. 

Eat low-sugar foods and drink water 

Eating sugary foods can cause tooth decay so make sure you limit the amount of sugar you consume. There are hidden sugars in lots of food so always check the labels. One place to easily consume more sugar than you realise is through drinks. The best drink you can consume is of course water but if you want something else, make sure you choose a sugar-free or low-sugar alternative to the usual sugar-filled soft drinks. 

Visit your dentist regularly

We recommend visiting your dentist for a general check-up twice a year. Your dentist will monitor and assess your dental hygiene and recommend further treatment if needed. Sometimes, your dentist may refer you to a dental hygienist to give your teeth an ultra-clean, which will help to give your oral health a power kick! 

What is a dental hygienist? 

A dental hygienist isn’t the same as a dentist; they don’t go to dental school and they don’t perform dental procedures such as fillings or tooth extraction. A dental hygienist is purely concerned with the health of your teeth and will clean them as well as inform you on how to best look after your teeth. They have diplomas in dental hygiene in order to practise and can also perform certain helpful tasks at the dentist’s office like taking an x-ray of your teeth and assessing the general health of your teeth.

When you see a dental hygienist, they’ll usually perform a teeth cleaning, which involves scraping away the plaque from the gaps between your teeth. Whatever is left behind after you have brushed your teeth becomes hard and contributes to tooth decay and the formation of cavities in your teeth, which is why dental hygienists remove it.

Choose Didsbury Dental Practice 

At Didsbury Dental we offer comprehensive and compassionate dental care, including emergency dentistry, in tranquil surroundings. Conveniently located in southern Manchester, we can provide you with all your general and cosmetic dental needs with a highly skilled team of distinguished dentists, specialists and hygienists – all under one roof.

We often get asked what the main difference is between a private and an NHS dentist and this is that the NHS offers free oral healthcare to certain people such as children, pregnant women, people on low-income benefits and patients being treated in hospitals as this is funded by the NHS. But, more and more people are choosing to go private due to the benefits of it, such as: 

  • Shorter wait times
  • More flexible appointment times
  • Longer appointment time with your dentist 
  • Higher quality of care with no restrictions on funding
  • Access to cosmetic dental treatments such as veneers

And so much more! 

Many people wonder if they would receive better treatment with a private dentist and this will depend from patient to patient but overall, private dentists aren’t as rushed, have more advanced, newer and more equipment due to not having over-stretched budgets and can provide better aftercare, therefore, it is more likely that you will receive excellent treatment from a private dentist than an NHS dentist. 

As well as all of this, we are a 24-hour dentist for dental emergencies so we’re not only here for your dental check-ups but for when you need us the most. 

Maintaining dental hygiene: the main points

  • Brush your teeth twice a day, including your tongue
  • Use floss, interdental brushes and mouthwash regularly
  • Visit your dentist for a check-up twice a year as well as your dental hygienist
  • Avoid sugary foods and drinks
  • Contact us at Didsbury Dental Practice to receive excellent private care for all of your oral health needs.

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