The newsLINK Group - The Right Way to Clean Your Mouth

Editorial Library Category: General Business | Dental | General Dentistry Topics: Cleaning, Flossing, Oral Hygiene Title: The Right Way to Clean Your Mouth Author: newsLINK Staff Synopsis: A clean mouth is your first defense against dental disease, but even though it is something most of us are taught at a young age, sometimes people forget to take it seriously as they get older. Editorial: The Right Way to Clean Your Mouth 4064 South Highland Drive, Millcreek, Utah 84124 │ │ (v) 801.676.9722 │ (tf) 855.747.4003 │ (f) 801.742.5803 Editorial Library | © The newsLINK Group LLC 1 A clean mouth is your first defense against dental disease, but even though it is something most of us are taught at a young age, sometimes people forget to take it seriously as they get older. You might have your children brush and floss their teeth on a regular basis — but do you take care of your own oral hygiene as thoroughly as you expect them to? The unfortunate answer is, probably not. According to one study: Only 20 percent brush their teeth as often as twice a day. Half floss daily. Approximately 33 percent thought bleeding is normal when you brush your teeth. It’s actual a warning sign for problems. Why does oral hygiene matter? Your mouth has more germs in it than anywhere else in your body. Keeping it clean is part of a healthy lifestyle. Brushing your teeth twice a day is considered to be a minimum. Ideally, you will brush your teeth promptly every time you finish eating something. And if you see blood, especially frequently, that’s something you need to discuss with your dentist. You also might want to consider changing your oral-hygiene routine. You are more likely to bleed if you have gum disease, so blood tells you that you are not doing a good enough job taking care of your teeth. What should you be doing to keep your mouth clean and healthy? Only use soft or extra soft bristles on your teeth. Hard toothbrushes were designed for use on dentures; using them on your own teeth will cause your gums to recede and will also damage delicate gum tissue. Be gentle. Not only can too-vigorous brushing damage your gums, it can wear away your tooth enamel, which is really not a good idea since it protects your tooth from decay. You are being too rough if you look at your toothbrush and see that the bristles have been flattened. If you use an electric toothbrush, don’t push the brush against your teeth; just move it from tooth to tooth. Take two minutes, whether you use an electric brush or a manual one. Anything less is not thorough enough. After you finish brushing, rinse the debris out and store it where it can dry out. It should not be stored too close to the toilet or to the sink. You might want to consider having two different toothbrushes so your toothbrush can dry out completely between uses. Don’t store your brush in a travel case, because it’s impossible to keep it clean enough and it will harbor germs instead. Don’t share your toothbrush with anyone, and make sure all the toothbrushes are stored so they don’t come in contact with each other. If you get sick, get a new toothbrush after you are well again; and use a different tube of toothpaste from others in your family to prevent sharing germs with them. Buy a new brush every three to four months, or more frequently if it begins to look worn. Don’t try to be frugal by cleaning it in a dishwasher; the dishwasher might damage the bristles so that it can no longer work effectively anyway. Another place it doesn’t belong is the microwave; the heat won’t disinfect the brush, and you are likely to damage it as well. You need to take care of your tongue as well as your teeth. The bacteria found there can move easily to your teeth, increasing the likelihood of cavities and gingivitis. Not only that, but bacteria found on the tongue can often be a cause of bad breath. When you brush your tongue, brush the whole thing and not just the front.