Oral Hygiene – What Is It?

Oral Hygiene Scarborough MEOral Hygiene … Okay, we all know what oral means and the definition of hygiene is “conditions or practices conducive to maintaining health and preventing disease, especially through cleanliness”. Therefore it means taking care of your mouth and teeth. All dentists and Orthodontists like those at Southern Maine Orthodontics recommend being attentive to your teeth and your overall oral health.

Oral hygiene and good oral health know no age limits. From infants to seniors oral hygiene is important to your whole health picture.

Here are some important oral hygiene tips for taking care of those pearly whites:

Brushing – To get the best oral hygiene results from brushing your teeth, try an electric toothbrush with a soft bristle. If you’re using a manual toothbrush (also with a soft bristle), hold it at a 45-degree angle to your gums. Short, circular strokes to move the brush over each tooth is the best method of brushing… Be sure you brush your teeth at least twice a day and preferably after every meal and before bed. Include the front and back sides of all your upper and lower teeth. Also, gently brush your tongue. Replace your toothbrush every three months in order to keep it effective.
Floss – Clean between your teeth. Flossing is one method that helps maintain oral hygiene by removing bacteria from areas between the teeth that are hard to reach by just brushing. To floss your teeth, start with an 18-inch piece of floss, and wrap most of it around the middle finger of one hand. Wrap a small amount around the middle finger of the other hand. Move the floss carefully up and down between each tooth, and make a C-shape with the floss as you reach the gum line. As you move from tooth to tooth, unwind new floss from one hand and wind the used floss onto the other hand.
Mouthwash – Rinsing with a mouthwash can get to places that your toothbrush and even the deep cleaning of floss can miss. There are many excellent brands of mouthwash available today. Some of them actually help to prevent cavities and strengthen the enamel on your teeth not to mention ridding your self of the dreaded “bad breath factor”.

These are the most basic tips for maintaining oral hygiene, but the oral care products you choose can make a big difference in the health of your teeth and gums. Remember not all toothbrushes are the same and neither are all mouthwashes. So choose wisely and ask your dentist or contact Southern Maine Orthodontics in Scarborough ME with any questions you have or to schedule a complimentary initial exam.