Deep mouth cleaning complete guide: what is the best oral care routine?
The best oral care routine is one that covers all the basics - a thorough clean and provides protection from oral disease.
It is vital that you learn proper brushing techniques (link to dental care) and that you have essential oral hygiene products at your disposal. Here are some tips to take your oral care routine to the next level in 5 minutes or less.
But before we break down our tips we always suggest talking with a dentist or oral health specialist.
Our mouths are affected by different types of conditions and are home to a variety of bacteria and viruses. Because of that, your current oral care routine might not be getting the job done right. That would explain bad breath despite brushing or oral infections, as well as a host of other problems affecting your main orifice.
Note that conditions such as heart disease, diabetes, pregnancy, and cancer treatment can all impact oral health. This is why it’s good practice to talk to a dental professional to find a suitable oral routine if you have a pre-existing condition. After getting your diagnosis, the next step is to develop a solid oral care routine and follow it. How do you do that?
You repeat the same routine every day which results in training yourself through familiarity, make sense?
How to Develop a Daily Oral Care Routine
Creating a daily oral care routine is easy, the hard part is the consistent implementation.
The Greek philosopher Aristotle once said, "we are what we repeatedly do. Excellence then is not an act, but a habit". What he was pointing at is a very simple truth, routines are established via repetition. Meaning, you must do the same set of activities with intention daily to create a routine, to that end:
- Decide what oral care practices should be in your routine.
- Test drive your routine before you commit.
- Set a realistic routine.
- Make it fun.
What is the best oral care routine?
By now, you've heard "brush your teeth twice daily", dozens if not hundreds of times. Believe it or not, most people can’t commit to this simple instruction. Possibly because of the nature of your job or the chaotic nature of life can cause you to become forgetful. Alternatively maybe your routine has become bland which landed in brushing becoming a chore.
To counter this reaction, you have to redefine brushing time. Instead of thinking of oral care is something you should do, start thinking about it as something you want to do. How can that help? Teeth brushing and proper oral care is important in that it guarantees good health. Neglect will lead to not only bad breath but also serious problems such as infections, heart disease, gingivitis, and plenty more. Maintaining good health all around is essential in living a long, happy and of course healthy life.
Dentists Recommended Oral Care Routine
Use a good fluoride toothpaste
Pairing fluoride toothpaste with a quality electric brush helps to prevent plaque build-up, gum recession and keeps your teeth protected. Fluoride slows down the breakdown of enamel thus preventing tooth decay.
Eat breakfast first or brush afterward?
One mistake you might be making is you brush your teeth after breakfast. This is problematic in that if you consume cereal or juice before brushing, you risk rubbing sugars and acids into your enamel. If you consume acidic or sugary foods in the morning, it's best to brush before eating then rinse your mouth thoroughly after. We also recommend investing in fluoride mouthwash and learn when to use it! Fluoride mouthwash is best because it protects your teeth from cavities often triggered by sugary or acidic foods. But there is no harm in rinsing using plenty of water.
Spit don't rinse
Rinsing immediately after brushing washes away concentrated fluoride reduces fluoride's preventative effect. Dentists recommend that you spit, not rinse immediately after brushing.
Rinsing should only be done at least 30 minutes or an hour after brushing.
What about fluoride mouthwash?
Just like water, rinsing using fluoride toothpaste right after brushing will wash away concentrated fluoride, try waiting at least 30 or more minutes.
How often should I floss?
Most people floss only when there is food stuck between teeth but did you know dentists recommend regular flossing because it prevents plaque build-up and by extension bad breath, and gum disease.
Don't forget, aggressive flossing will lead to gum damage, gum recession, or even infection. To beat this issue we recommend water flossing or practice care while flossing.
Are interdental brushes any good?
Interdental brushes are designed to fit snuggly through teeth, thus are just as effective as flossing when it comes to dislodging food from teeth. However, the first few days of using one might result in tenderness and bleeding. Definitely not recommended for people with sensitive teeth and gums.
If you are thinking of trying out interdental brushes, we suggest chatting with a dental professional.
Water flossing is a safer alternative
Generally speaking, water flossers are not sold as flossing or brushing alternatives. Instead, water flossers are designed to help remove food particles from teeth, stop or reduce bleeding, and prevent gum disease.
Just like flossing or brushing, water flosser’s prevent plaque build-up by reducing bacteria below your gum line, removing food particles, which results in protecting you from oral disease. This makes water flosser perfect for people who experience bleeding, have sensitivity issues or ones who constantly struggle with dental floss getting stuck in teeth.
Who needs a water flosser?
- Gentle and effective - perfect for cleaning braces, crowns, bridges, and dental implants.
- You don't have to put your hands in the mouth meaning less bacteria in your mouth.
- Zero risks of causing gum tissue damage.
- Doesn't irritate sensitive gums or teeth.
The Best Oral Care Routine: How Does it all Come Together?
For continued quality oral care, you should visit a dentist once every year. Once you have that base covered, the next step is to incorporate all the tips above into your daily activities.
How do you do that?
First look at your daily routine, what habits impact your oral health? For most people, bad breath, gum disease, and teeth yellowing are triggered by:
- Smoking: tobacco products cause teeth yellowing, oral infections, and many other problems.
- Nail-biting/thumb sucking: introduces bacteria into the mouth and can cause temporomandibular disorder (painful jaw)
- Too much coffee: coffee stains teeth.
- Binge eating: introduces food particles and bacteria.
- Aggressive brushing: erodes enamel and irritates the gum.
- Sharing brushes and food: bacterial transfer, can cause gum disease and tooth decay.
Admit it, you are guilty of at least one bad oral habit and there is no shame in it! You simply have to make adjustments to your brushing to better suit your lifestyle. For example, if you partake in the drinking of coffee more than once per day, commit to brushing your teeth at least three times a day. This will prevent yellowing and make your vice a bit safer for your teeth. An alternative is to drink coffee and other harmful beverages with a straw.
To get the best results, we recommend that you change your electric brushes' head once every 3 months and spend at least 2 minutes brushing minimum twice a day.
Brush twice and floss once a day
In your oral hygiene arsenal, there must be a quality electric toothbrush, water flosser and a tongue scraper, why?
Flossing more than one a day or incorrect flossing can damage your teeth and gums which is why dentists recommend that you floss once daily. This prevents cavities and gum disease, so if you are not good at string usage, go for a quality water flosser.
Rinse your mouth thoroughly after binge eating
Anytime you consume sticky, acidic, or sugary foods, rinse your mouth thoroughly using plenty of water.
Starve bad bacteria in your mouth by chewing xylitol gum
The average person needs about 5 to 19 grams of xylitol every day, exceeding this limit can cause stomach problems and I’m sure you are asking, what is xylitol gum?
Decay-causing bacteria feed off the sugar in your mouth, xylitol is a sugar alternative that prevents dry mouth and fights tooth decay. Remember when buying gum to always check the label, sugar is bad and xylitol is good.
Test Drive your Routine Before you Commit
Most of us work 9 to 5, meaning, we can only commit to brushing in the morning and after work. If you need to add in extra brushes throughout your day you can get around this by simply carrying your toothbrush to work and using it after a lunch break.
If you have bad habits such as too much coffee drinking, try introducing a midday brush to your routine. Repeat daily until you are used to it. On the other hand, if it's not possible to take your brush or oral care products with you, rinse your mouth thoroughly after every meal and commit to sugar-free gum only.
Remember, your routine should not interfere with other aspects of your day to day life, but absolutely dedicate time to it. For good measure, spend 2 minutes after every meal taking care of your mouth. The thing is, most oral care routines fall apart because you make it feel like a chore. Try to see your new oral hygiene routine as a necessity as good oral care promotes a healthy life making this a vital task not a chore.
Once you have determined your oral care priorities, now it is time to put tasks into their proper position.
Planning an oral care routine is very easy because all you have to do is clean your teeth after a meal which you obviously don't have to pre-plan like a robot. There may be some 'friction' preventing you from reaching your oral care goals, for example, you may lack a safe space to practice your routine or procrastinate after binge eating. The idea is to weed out the friction and find ways to commit to your routine. This will require daily repetition until that time when brushing after every meal has become a habit.
How Do I Make Oral Care Routine fun?
If you have kids or need a little motivation to clean your teeth, you should strive to find ways to make oral hygiene fun. For example, turn on the massage setting on your electric toothbrush to promote better oral circulation. This is not only fun, but it also serves as a point in the day where you relax and take the edge off.
You should also:
- Get delicious toothpaste with fluoride.
- Use music as a timer when brushing (two minutes goes faster when listening to a song you enjoy)
- Set up a reward system: find ways to reward yourself for practicing good oral health.
Make brushing for kids more fun by:
- Buy them a special brush your little one will love.
- Reward kids for practicing proper oral care.
- Make brushing and flossing a "family thing".
One last important thing we must again express! Visit your dentist at least once every year, twice is better.
A good oral care routine is one that you set yourself because you want to gain a healthier mouth. Set some goals, take our advice above and weave whats works for you into your daily schedule. Don’t be shy to teach yourself habits that promote good health and practice them because you want to, not because someone told you to!
What's your oral hygiene regimen? Tell us in the comments and don't forget to check out this month's fantastic deals.