Now that Christmas is over and 2021 is here, most people are busy starting on their New Year’s Resolutions. For many of us, we aim to improve our physical well-being and live a healthier lifestyle, perhaps by losing weight or hitting the gym more often. Yet while we focus on improving our physical health, we often tend to forget to add oral hygiene to this list.
Now, as a passionate hygienist, that hurts. Yes, living a more active and healthier lifestyle is excellent, but oral health is important as well.
Many diseases and pathogens enter our bodies through our mouth and eventually make their way to other parts of the body. Infections in the mouth can have an impact on our overall health, so keeping your mouth clean is vital.
Luckily, I’m here to share three oral hygiene tips that can be used as resolutions to help you achieve a better smile in 2021 and for many years to come.
1. Ditch the Manual (Toothbrush)
If you didn’t get an electric toothbrush for Christmas, get one in the post-holiday sales! Electric toothbrushes are more effective than manual ones because they make more brush strokes per minute. With your hand, you can make about 400 brush strokes a minute, but with an electric toothbrush, you can achieve up to 31,000 brush strokes a minute! The more brush strokes, the more effective.
The heads are also designed to make better contact with every tooth. People who use a manual brush tend to over-brush, which can cause permanent damage to the gums.
When using an electric toothbrush, hold it lightly, then put it half on the tooth, half on the gum and let the brush glide and do all the work. That way, you’re not going to run the risk of damage. Finally, replace the brush head every three months.
2. Mind the Gap
While this may seem like a pain, it’s actually something a lot of us don’t do, so it makes for the perfect resolution to try and stick with. Brushing only cleans 60-65% of the tooth’s surface, which means you’ve got to get in between the teeth to prevent tooth decay and gum disease, which can occur when food and plaque are left lodged between teeth. If your teeth are very tight together, then flossing is the best way to clean.
However, if you have the space between your teeth, you should use interdental brushes. If you’re unsure which size to use, speak to your hygienist. Commit to once a day, preferably at night and BEFORE brushing.
Can’t floss, won’t floss? You could try the Philips Airfloss Pro – clinically proven to reduce bleeding gums.
3. Don't be a Stranger
Adhering to your oral health on your own is imperative, but heading to the dentist is too. It’s recommended that you visit the dentist once a year and your dental hygienist at least two times a year to receive a professional cleaning (that’s just three days out of 365 – you can do this)!
Regular check-ups mean there's a medical record of any changes to your oral health. You can be screened for gum disease and dental decay (FYI both are totally preventable) as well as oral cancer (over 8,300 new cases of oral cancer were diagnosed last year). Incorporating visits to your local clinic as part of your oral hygiene routine is pivotal to maintaining a healthy mouth.
Ready to get going on those resolutions? Book an appointment with London Hygienist today!