10 Habits for Outstanding Oral Hygiene

Outstanding oral hygiene greatly contributes to the long-term health of your teeth and gums. Keeping your teeth strong and healthy means incorporating healthy habits into your daily routine. Here are 10 habits I recommend for maintaining a healthy mouth, beautiful smile, and fresh breath.


  1. Flossing. Though it’s often overlooked, cleaning between your teeth is just as important as brushing your teeth. Flossing removes food particles, stimulates the gums, reduces plaque, lessens inflammation, and lowers your chances of developing gum disease.


  1. Morning and Night. Most of us know that brushing your teeth twice a day is important but still slack off a bit. Be honest with yourself about how consistent your brushing habits are. Many people are diligent either in the morning or at night. Make a conscious effort to brush immediately after getting up and just before getting back into bed at night.


  1. Clean Your Tongue. Your tongue has a large surface area for bacteria to live on. If you floss and brush but neglect to clean your tongue, the bacteria on your tongue will be transferred to your freshly cleaned teeth!


  1. Fluoride. It’s been proven that fluoride strengthens teeth and contributes to oral health. Be sure you’re using a fluoride toothpaste when you brush. The longer fluoride is on your teeth, the more effective it is, so try to refrain for rinsing your mouth out after brushing. Simply spit the extra toothpaste into the sink and let the fluoride keep working.


  1. Mouthwash. Mouthwash is an additional habit that’s great for cleaning your whole mouth and keeping your breath fresh. When choosing a mouthwash, be sure to choose one that is alcohol-free so that it doesn’t dry your mouth out. A dry mouth is more susceptible to bacteria.


  1. Eat for Your Teeth. Your diet affects the health of your mouth just like it affects your overall health. Keep sugary, starchy snacks to a minimum, and eat crunchy fruits and veggies that help clean your teeth while you eat.


  1. Stay Hydrated. As I mentioned earlier, a dry mouth is more susceptible to bacteria. Be sure to drink plenty of water throughout the day to keep the bacteria at bay.


  1. Sugar-free Gum. Another great way to control bacteria throughout your day is to chew sugar-free gum. Gum cleans debris from teeth and keeps your breath fresh. Many brands of gum are approved by the American Dental Association, so look for the ADA seal on your favorite brands of sugarless gum.


  1. Stay Away from Tobacco Products. This one’s a no-brainer. You most likely know that tobacco products like cigarettes, cigars, and smokeless tobacco are horrible for your health, and the health of your mouth is no exception. If you use tobacco products, talk to your dentist about a plan to quit.


  1. Regular Trips to the Dentist. It’s recommended that you see your dentist once every six months. This ensures that you catch any potential issues early on and take the right steps to fix the problem. It’s just like the old saying goes, “An ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure.”