Oral hygiene matters not only because you want your teeth to be picture-perfect, but because dental issues can lead to more serious health problems. Gum disease has been linked to a number of health issues, such as heart disease, stroke, preterm labor, diabetes, and even Alzheimer’s. It truly matters that you take good care of your teeth, so establishing and maintaining appropriate oral hygiene routine is what you need to address. Here’s how you can build a perfect routine for your pearly whites.

Know How to Brush

Of course you brush your teeth, and you know the basics: you should do it at least twice a day, for 2 minutes, spending an equal amount of time in each quadrant of the mouth. Brushing is important because it removes plaque and bacteria from teeth. If they remain there for too long, they can cause tooth decay and bad breath. You should hold your brush at a 45-degree angle against your gums. It’s recommended that the toothpaste you use is an ADA-accepted one. When it comes to the toothbrush, it’s better if it has soft bristles, because then the risk of hurting your gums will be decreased. As soon as the bristles become frayed, make sure to replace your toothbrush.

Don’t Avoid the Floss

Brushing alone isn’t enough – you should also floss your teeth once a day. If you’re uncertain about flossing, here’s how it goes. Take a piece of floss – about 45 cm so it’s enough for all of your teeth – and wrap each end around your fingers. Lower the floss gently in between your teeth. Start following the curve of your teeth so you don’t damage your gums. It’s important that you always use clean floss and not introduce plaque instead of removing it! As you move to the next tooth, just take the dirty floss with your finger, and unwind the clean floss from the other.

Clean Your Tongue

Nope, we don’t stop at brushing and flossing! For the fresh breath and even cleaner mouth, there’s another step you need to take, and that’s cleaning your tongue. The tongue can be the place where bacteria are collected, and that’s where bad breath comes from. To prevent this, clean your tongue right after brushing your teeth. There are many oral health care products, like a quality tongue scraper, which you can use to gently scrape and clean your tongue. After you’re done, rinse your mouth.

Add Mouthwash to Your Routine

Rinsing your mouth with mouthwash will kill more oral bacteria, which also helps fight plaque. After you brush, floss and clean your tongue, swish for about half a minute. Do it twice a day. Make sure your lips are closed so you don’t make a mess! When you’re done, spit it out.

Wait Before You Brush

If you drink or eat something acidic – chances are it’s acidic if it’s sour, such as orange juice or a lemonade – you should hold off on brushing for a bit. Acidic foods and drinks have the trait of temporarily softening the enamel of the teeth. If you follow up with brushing right after, this could remove some of the enamel, which can make your teeth more susceptible to decay over time. So if you’ve had tomatoes, soda, wine or citrus fruits and juices, delay brushing a bit, just to be safe.

Record Yourself Brushing

This might be the silliest advice you’ve ever heard in the domain of oral hygiene – but it might work! Filming your tooth brushing sessions could improve your technique, just like powerlifters film themselves doing squats. Prop your phone on a stand and start recording. You’ll probably perform better knowing you’re in front of the camera, and afterward you can see what your brushing really looks like.

Wash Your Toothbrush Holder

This may sound gross, but your toothbrush is filled with germs that occupy any bathroom, as a warm and damp place. One study actually found that the toothbrush holders are the third germiest household item, with your dish sponge and kitchen sink taking the first and second spots. Not very comforting since they hold the brushes that go inside of your mouth, right? So clean your toothbrush holder once or twice a week. Run it through the dishwasher or wash it by hand in the hot and soapy water. To be extra safe, use a disinfecting wipe.

Don’t Be Afraid of the Dentist

Okay, you may be afraid; but it shouldn’t stop you from going to regular check-ups. Prevention is important, so don’t wait until you have a toothache – book that appointment today. Not only will getting a check-up and talking to your dentist act as a great preventative measure, but you’ll also save money. Urgent issues are usually quite pricey, so do what’s up to you not to need them.

A good, easy to maintain oral hygiene routine is something you shouldn’t think about much. It should be easy enough so you do it without too much contemplation! Carve a few minutes out of your day to look after your teeth, and you’ll have a great and healthy smile that charms.

Author's Bio: 

Emily is a business psychologist. Researching, exploring and writing are her favourite things to do. Besides that, she loves animals and music.