The basics of a lifelong healthy mouth

Today, keeping a healthy mouth is relatively easy. Years ago it was normal for adults to suffer from a range of oral diseases. But nowadays, if you take the time to maintain your oral health, you can keep your teeth and your mouth healthy for a lifetime.

The main cause of tooth decay and gum disease is plaque. So it’s plaque that we want to remove and defend against in our daily oral hygiene routine.

The first step to fighting plaque is to consider what you eat. Plaque changes food sugars into acid, which slowly dissolves the tooth enamel. This can cause tooth decay. To reduce the amount of plaque in your mouth you should eat a balanced diet without snacking too much. When you do have a snack, choose nutritious, natural foods such as fruit, yoghurt or fresh vegetables.

Next to consider for a healthy mouth is a proper brushing technique. The best way to remove and keep plaque off your teeth is with a toothbrush. You should brush twice a day for two minutes each time, with a toothbrush that has soft bristles. Be sure your toothbrush is the right size and shape to fit into all the corners of your mouth.

You might think it impossible to brush your teeth wrongly, but in fact improper toothbrushing can wear out your teeth or leave behind harmful plaque.

To brush your teeth correctly, first place your toothbrush at a 45-degree angle against your gums. Then move the brush back and forth gently in short strokes, brushing all surfaces of your teeth. Remember to brush all the corners and crevices of your mouth, as well as your tongue, the inside of your cheeks and your palate.

Replace your toothbrush every three to four months, or sooner if the bristles get worn out. Children’s brushes may wear out even more quickly.

Flossing is the next crucial step in good oral health and a healthy mouth. Plaque which your toothbrush can’t reach can be removed from between your teeth with dental floss or an interdental cleaner.

When flossing, break off about 18 inches or 45 centimetres of floss and wind most of it around one of your middle fingers. The rest should be wound around a finger on the opposite hand. Hold the floss tightly between your thumbs and forefingers and, using about half an inch at a time, gently glide it between your teeth. Be careful not to force the floss into the gums.

Make sure to floss between all your teeth. If you haven’t been flossing regularly your gums may bleed the first few times you do this, but they should stop fairly soon. If they don’t, tell your dentist or hygienist.

Good oral hygiene is always important. By taking care of your teeth, you will establish good habits that will ensure a healthy mouth for a lifetime. And don’t forget to visit your dentist regularly – call us here at Dental Care Partnership on 0121 354 1922 to book an appointment with one of our friendly team.