Teeth are what help us chew food and they start the process of digestion in the mouth. They also make us look and feel good. This guide is dedicated to helping you, the reader, to maintain good teeth. There are a few concerns that people may have. Those with arthritis may have trouble holding the brush. Older people may have to worry about their dentures. Tooth decay and gum disease are problems that dog all people of all ages.

Brush Your Teeth After A Meal

Make brushing and flossing a part of your daily routine. Brushing after every meal is extremely healthy, but brush at least twice a day – once in the morning after waking and once at night before sleeping. In addition to brushing, floss daily. It is best to use a soft bristled tooth brush with rounded ends so that the brush is easy on the gums and teeth.  Get a new tooth brush every 3-4 months.

It is a good idea to use an electric toothbrush approved by the American Dental Association. Electric toothbrushes that have a back and forth movement are superior to non electric brushes or brushes that do not have this oscillating action. Using fluoride toothpaste is recommended. Some toothpaste companies offer tartar-control fluoride toothpastes. They resist formation of tartar (hard minerals) on the teeth.

Do not brush too vigorously or scrub. Place the toothbrush at 45 degrees at the meeting point of gums and teeth. Move the brush circularly as you clean the teeth. If you apply too much force while brushing you may scratch the tooth enamel. Brush the cheek side of teeth and the tongue side.

Brushing your tongue is another essential habit. You can remove bad-breath-causing plaque this way. Disclosing tablets are chewable and let you see how much, if any, plaque is left over on the teeth.  Use disclosing tablets – they are easily available.

Use Floss Everyday

Floss daily. What type and flavor of floss you use is unimportant. You can use the finger wrap method or the circle method for flossing. In the finger wrap method, wrap a piece of floss 18-20 inches long around the middle finger of both hands till the hands are about two inches apart. Use it to floss. In the circle method, tie a 12 inch piece of floss at both ends. In case the loop is larger than needed wrap it around your fingers to make it smaller. For children’s teeth, appropriate flossing tools are available.

Floss gently as you curve the floss into a U shape around each tooth. Bring it below the gum line gently. Scrape the plaque off firmly in gentle up to down movements. If you do not scrape, then plaque will not be removed. Interdental brushes are as effective as floss.

Eat A Diet That Is Healthy For Your Mouth

Certain types of foods are good for your mouth. These include – fruits vegetables, whole grains and foods that are low on sodium and saturated fat. Chew on sugar free chewing gum and consume milk, yogurt, peanuts and cheeses. Avoid sugary foods. Food that sticks to teeth at night is likely to cause cavities, hence do not consume foods at bedtime.  Decreased saliva production at night does not contribute to mouth cleansing during this time.

Stop consuming tobacco that can cause oral cancer and gum disease. Tobacco delays healing too. It contributes to bad breath and stains teeth. So there you have it – a small bit of do’s and do not’s for your better dental health. Follow these suggestions to have a healthy, happy set of teeth and for a beautiful smile!