A Good Hygiene Checklist

good dental hygiene checklistAlthough your teeth are protected by your body’s hardest substance, tooth enamel, they are also susceptible to extensive disease and destruction when enamel is compromised.

Even the most devastating dental issues, however, can largely be prevented, or at least managed, with good oral hygiene. As part of our dedication to our patients’ excellent oral health, we outline what you should know about maintaining your good oral hygiene.

Taking Care of Your Teeth

The most common dental hygiene mistakes involve tooth brushing and flossing. Brushing haphazardly, too harshly, or too quickly may do more harm to your teeth than good, and flossing incorrectly can irritate your gums, causing them to recede from your teeth and pave the way for gum disease. Follow these simple steps to get the most out of your daily hygiene routine.

  • While it may seem ideal to brush your teeth after every meal, your teeth can actually be the most vulnerable immediately after eating some foods. Brushing your teeth while they’re soft can wear away your tooth enamel. The American Dental Association (ADA) recommends brushing your teeth at least twice a day, especially before bed.
  • Use a soft-bristled toothbrush, and be sure to check for the ADA seal of approval. Steer clear of the harsher, “natural” toothbrushes that can damage your tooth enamel, and avoid scrubbing your teeth harshly. Instead, brush plaque and debris gently from each tooth’s surface, paying close attention to the gum line (where the tooth meets the gums).
  • Even with an exceptional tooth brushing technique, flossing is an essential part of your daily oral hygiene. Because most cavity-causing oral bacteria do not need oxygen to survive (anaerobic), bacterial plaque is fond of clinging in the spaces between your teeth. Flossing at least once a day helps prevent plaque from building up too intensely in the tight crevices of your teeth.
  • In addition to maintaining a disciplined oral hygiene schedule at home, keeping your mouth in tip-top shape requires visiting your dentist’s office at least once every six months for a comprehensive dental checkup and cleaning. Regular dental exams can increase your chances of detecting oral health issues early and successfully treating them.