Dental Health Tips – Basics of Caring for Teeth & Gums

Last Updated on August 22, 2023 by Jade Roberts

Healthy teeth and gums
Healthy teeth and gums are important to general overall health.

If dental health is not at the top of your priority list and you dread visiting your local dentist for your dental checkup, maybe you need to look at it from another perspective.

I don’t think anyone actually likes going to the dentist, but personally, I would rather go regularly and know that my teeth and gums are healthy, than only go once every 5 or so years and not know what to expect. I know that by visiting my dentist regularly that if anything is not quite right, they will pick it up early and give me tips on how to correct it.

It’s a good idea to take the time to understand how you can start caring for your teeth and gums properly so that your trip to the dentist is not as unpleasant. With some slight changes in your daily habits, you may find that your teeth and gums are healthier and your dental trips are a lot shorter, cheaper, and much more pleasant.

That being said, here are some basic tips on how to keep your teeth and gums healthy between dental check-ups.

Teeth and Gums Cleaning Tips

1. Brush For 2 Minutes

improve dental health by brushing teeth for 2 minutes

Firstly, you need to be aware of the correct way to clean your teeth. While you are brushing your teeth, start timing yourself to ensure that you are spending at least two minutes twice a day cleaning your teeth.

These two-minute time slots should be broken down by the four sections (or quadrants) of your mouth – top and bottom, left and right. Each of these sections should have at least 30 seconds spent on cleaning. While this may feel like a long time, especially if you are used to doing a quick clean, this is the minimum amount of time you need to spend to ensure your teeth and gums are clean and healthy.

Many people, especially parents, find that playing a song that is just over two minutes long is a great way to keep track of the time spent cleaning your teeth. For children, they will be busy listening to the music, so the time will pass quickly. Other people find keeping a timer in their bathroom helps ensure they are spending the right amount of time cleaning their teeth.

Another option is to try an electric toothbrush. Most have a built-in timer, which will indicate to you when you have spent 2 minutes brushing. This way, you have no excuses to say that you lost track of time while brushing.

2. Choose The Right Toothbrush

Secondly, as you are brushing your teeth you should ensure that you have the right toothbrush. Many people don’t understand how important it is to their ongoing dental health to have a toothbrush that is going to provide them with the best cleaning.

You should find a toothbrush that has soft bristles so you can ensure that you are going to be caring for your teeth properly. Some people think that they should brush their teeth with a hard-bristled brush because it will work better, but a soft-bristled brush is much better for your teeth and gums.

This is especially important for denture wearers. Read more about the best denture brushes here.

If you are going to brush with a hard bristle you will find that you may damage your teeth while brushing, as it can wear away at the enamel. A hard-bristled toothbrush may also end up damaging your gums.

If you have been brushing with a hard-bristled toothbrush, at your next dental checkup, advise your dentist and they will be able to check and let you know if there has been any damage.

3. Replace Your Toothbrush

Replace a toothbrush with frayed bristles

Thirdly, when you have found the toothbrush that is going to work the best for your dental health, you should also make sure that you replace the toothbrush regularly.

For hygiene purposes and to ensure your teeth are being cleaned correctly, you should replace your toothbrush every three to four months. Your toothbrush bristles should stand upright; once they start to fray, turn down or turn outwards, this is the time to replace your toothbrush. This goes for regular toothbrushes as well as electric toothbrush heads.

4. Floss Regularly

Flossing is also an important dental health factor in keeping your teeth and gums healthy. If you haven’t used dental floss before, be sure to ask your dentist at your next dental checkup about the best type of floss to use and how to floss. Make sure you take your time and floss as shown by your dentist. This will ensure you are cleaning between your teeth correctly.

These days there are different types of flossing methods and tools available. Some people find it hard to wrap the floss around their fingers and get to their back teeth; this is where dental flossers or floss picks come in handy. These have handles and heads at different angles making hard-to-reach areas easier to access.

If you are flossing, and your gums start to bleed, it is best to check with your dentist on your next dental checkup whether this is due to the way you are flossing or whether it is a symptom of gum disease. While you can expect some discomfort when you first start flossing, you need to ensure that there is nothing more serious going on.

If you have dental veneers or dental implants, your dentist is the best person to ask about keeping your teeth clean and healthy. The flossing technique may be different depending on the type of dental veneer or dental implant that you have, and your cleaning process may also vary.

Other Dental Health & Hygiene Tips

There are a number of other things you can do, on top of the basic routine described above, to improve your overall dental health. This includes:

  • using picksters to further clean between teeth (see the video below)
  • using a mouth wash to kill bacteria and leave your breath fresh
  • drinking lots of water, especially after meals, to neutralize acid and rinse away any left-over food particles
  • avoiding sugary and sticky foods, and trying to eat more fibrous foods such as apples (for foods you can enjoy and should avoid with dentures, click here).

If you are starting a new tooth and gum cleaning routine, ensure you visit your dentist for more advice on improving your dental health. They will be able to tell you exactly what you need to do and when you need to do it, especially if you have dental veneers, dental implants, or braces.

Healthy teeth and gums are important to general overall health and your dentist will be able to give you tips on keeping your gums and teeth healthy at your next dental checkup.

About Jade Roberts

After having a lot of dental issues when she was younger, and years of restorative dental work, Jade knows how difficult it is to find the right dental information. This forced her to do countless hours of research and connect with dental experts all over the world to find the right information. Learning has made her passionate about sharing her knowledge and experience so that others don't have to go through the same issues. "If I make any recommendations in the articles on the False Teeth Options website, it is because my team and I have researched and/or tested the products ourselves, and would be comfortable recommending them to our own family and friends. I'd love to hear of your experiences. So if you have any questions or comments, please feel free to get in touch."

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