How to Maintain Oral Health & Care: DIY Guide

BY Dr. McDowell  |  May 26th, 2020
Dr. McDowell
Dr. McDowell has always been focused on using the latest technology to improve the patient experience. From radiation-free imaging to laser dentistry, he has always been ahead of the curve and is dedicated to improving the practice of dentistry one ..

The Covid-19 pandemic has limited our ability to receive what were once normal dental services like cleanings or oral examinations.

Thankfully there are quite a few different practices that we can use to maintain good oral health without regular dental visits. Today we’re breaking down some of those best practices on how to maintain oral health so that you can keep your teeth healthy without going to the dentist.

The Importance of Good Oral Habits

woman pointing to teeth and smiling; how to maintain oral health

You might be wondering why we’re even talking about this. Well, oral hygiene is actually something that is often neglected. Gum disease, as well as other health problems within the lungs, can be caused by poor oral health. That’s why regular dental visits and attention to brushing, flossing, using mouthwash, and keeping your mouth clean are important.

How To Maintain Oral Health

The occasional use of oral care products isn’t enough. Keeping your mouth healthy takes discipline and routine. And finding that discipline and routine is in your best interest. You’re only given one set of teeth.

Routine Teeth Brushing and Flossing

father and son showing how to maintain oral health by brushing teeth

Brushing and flossing regularly is your best defense against gum disease and other dental hygiene problems such as cavities and tooth decay. The American Dental Association recommends that every individual brush their teeth at least two times a day for two minutes. Additionally, it is recommended that you use fluoride toothpaste and fluoride mouthwash.

Don’t worry; you’re only recommended to floss one time a day. The American Dental Association recommends using FDA-approved floss. While some prefer to floss at night so that they can sleep with a clean mouth, others prefer to floss at midday or in the morning.

Don’t Neglect Your Tongue

The tongue can often be one of the most neglected parts of the mouth. While everyone is sure to brush their teeth at least once a day, many individuals forget an equally important part of their mouth. That part is the tongue. The tongue, like teeth, may have plaque build-up over time and, if not properly taken care of, can be the cause of bad breath and other oral hygiene problems.

The best way to care for your tongue is to brush it gently each time that you brush your teeth. You can also use a tongue scrapper for improved cleaning. It may seem like a simple task, but it can actually significantly improve your dental health. There’s a lot that you can learn from your tongue, depending on what it looks like and how it feels. Your tongue can tell you if there are nutrient deficiencies or other oral health problems.

Pay Attention to Your Diet

Since you were a little kid, people have been saying that candy will rot your teeth out. It turns out they aren’t wrong. Your diet can play a significant role in the health of your teeth and mouth. It’s important to know what helps and what’s harmful.

Drink plenty of water.

Water is one of the best things for the health of your body and your mouth. Most dentists recommend drinking plenty of water throughout the day and also drinking a glass of water after every meal. Water after your meals will help to clean your mouth of any excess food that could lead to tooth decay. Water can also improve your breath.

Don’t use tobacco products.

woman breaking cigarettes with hands; how to maintain oral health

Smoking, chewing tobacco, and other tobacco products are all harmful to your oral health. If you use any tobacco products, the best thing that you can do for your oral health is to stop using them. Chewing tobacco is one of the leading causes of gum disease, as well as different types of oral cancer.

Eat crunchy fruits and vegetables.

Crunchy fruits and vegetables are one of the best choices for your teeth, and they create good eating habits. Not only do most crunchy foods contain more fiber than others, but they also take longer to chew. This helps to ensure that you don’t eat your food too quickly.

Additionally, processed foods that are softer and easier to eat often contain many more added ingredients.

Limit sugary and acidic food.

Sugary foods such as candies and desserts are one of the worst things that you can eat. These sugars can help bacteria decay your teeth quickly by eating away at the enamel. This is especially true if you don’t have good oral hygiene habits.

Acidic foods such as fruits, tea, and coffee can also wear down the enamel on your teeth and eventually cause tooth decay. It might be impossible to stop drinking coffee, so just make sure you’re brushing at least twice a day and for sure before bed.

Here’s a list of foods that will ruin tooth enamel.

See Your Dentist One Time a Year

woman patient seeing female dentist about how to maintain oral health

It’s recommended that you see your dentist at least one time a year. Regular visits to the dentist will allow your dentist to provide you with the best oral care.

While it’s not always possible to see your dentist as regularly as you’d like, practicing good oral hygiene on a daily and weekly basis will definitely keep your teeth healthier than if you were to neglect them altogether. Let’s have a quick review of the best practices.

  1. Brush & Floss your teeth twice a day
  2. Don’t neglect your tongue
  3. Pay attention to your diet
  4. Drink plenty of water
  5. Stay away from tobacco products
  6. Eat crunchy fruits and vegetables
  7. Limit sugary and acidic food
  8. Enjoy regular dental visits

Schedule Your Appointment With Wayzata Dental Today!

We hope that you’ve found this post helpful and that you’re taking good care of your teeth. At Wayzata Dental, our patients are our top priority, and we’re always available to serve them. If you’re in need of a cleaning procedure or diagnosis of an oral problem you’ve been having, we’d love to help! Trust Wayzata Dental for all of your dental care needs and reach out to us today!

Dr. McDowell
Dr. McDowell has always been focused on using the latest technology to improve the patient experience. From radiation-free imaging to laser dentistry, he has always been ahead of the curve and is dedicated to improving the practice of dentistry one ..