Oral Health seems like one of the most neglected aspects of self-care routines. Breaking it down might help you understand it a little better, making it easier to implement into your daily routines.
Oral Health Begins With Brushing
Never underestimate the power of brushing your teeth. Your oral health begins with the most basic preventative step. First, Picking the right brush for you means knowing your choices, so that you get the most effective clean with each stroke. Picking the right brush for you depends entirely on your needs, and how likely you are to use the brush you choose.
Electric toothbrushes provide an effective oscillating that allows you to brush more gently than a disposable brush. Disposable brushes cost considerably less than their counterparts, especially since you should replace both after three months of use. The harder bristles of a disposable brush can also damage teeth if you forget to brush carefully. Ultimately, selecting the most effective brush means choosing the one you use consistently.
Picking The Right Toothpaste
This might amuse you, but picking the right toothpaste requires little effort. According to a couple of clinical studies, a placebo actually works almost as well for some. If you do have special needs, your dentist can provide a much better recommendation than could fit in the context of this article. For my needs, I use a simple whitening toothpaste with as few chemicals as possible. Some, even go so far as to use baking soda, but you needn’t go that far.
How to Brush Your Teeth
Begin by placing a dot of toothpaste, about the size of the tip of your pinky on the bristles. Start at the back of your teeth and scrub carefully in an up and down motion from one side all the way to the other. Then, close your teeth, and repeat the process on the front of your teeth. Overall, you should spend about sixty seconds per side (front and back). Finish by spitting the lather into your sink and gently rinse the residue out of your mouth with cool water.
Flossing For Better Oral Health
While brushing goes a long way, it only cleans three of the five exposed surfaces on your teeth. Flossing allows you to reach the two surfaces between your teeth.
I personally struggle to floss, because it seems to talk so much time to get between each and every pair of my pearly whites. However, every single dentist, oral hygienist, and doc that I’ve ever spoken with recommends it. So I try and recommend you do the same. You may try flossing while watching your favorite show, or something like that.
How to Floss
First, decide if using string floss, or floss picks works better for you. If you decide to use string floss, cut a piece about 12 to 18 inches and wrap it around both index fingers. On the other hand, a floss pick already strings the floss for you. Next, scrape both sides in every crack between your teeth. Pay special attention to your gums, and get as close as possible without irritating them. Once you floss between each tooth, throw it away and rinse your mouth out with cool water.
Washing Out Your Mouth
Using mouthwash to rinse after brushing and flossing rounds out your routine with a variety of benefits. First, ensure you select a therapeutic mouthwash. Therapeutic mouthwash provides holistic oral health with a combination of Cetylpyridinium chloride, essential oils, fluoride, and peroxide. Cetylyridinium chloride kills the bacteria that cause bad breath. Flouride specifically protects your teeth from decay by slowing down mineral loss. Some studies also say that fluoride replenishes lost minerals over time. Peroxide whitens, as a bleaching agent, by breaking down chemicals that stain your teeth.
Essential Oils in Mouthwash For Oral Health
Specialized essential oils increase the benefits of mouthwash based on your specific needs. The following table provides a few of the basic ones.
|Cinnamon Oil||To date, cinnamon bark oil seems most effective against the bacteria known as Streptococcus mutans, the primary cause of tooth decay.|
|Clove Oil||So far, dentists use clove oil to kill bacteria, soothe toothaches, and lower inflammation.|
|Coconut Oil||Combining with your saliva, coconut oil reduces the ability of plaque to stick to your teeth and kills bacteria. Coconut oil also moisturizes gums, helping prevent dry mouth.|
|Eucalyptus Oil||Besides fighting plaque and bacteria, eucalyptus oil also treats pain, reduces inflammation, kills germs, and improves healing. Its potent flavor also goes a long way to eliminate bad breath.|
|Lime Oil||Using lime oil promotes oral health by reducing periodontal disease, prevents cavities, and soothes inflamed gums.|
|Myrrha||Myrrha resin extract decreases inflammation, kills bacteria, and treats gum disease. It also helps soothe oral inflammation, reduce gum disease, and speed up oral healing.|
|Peppermint Oil||Known for refreshing breath, peppermint oil also prevents bacteria, microbes, and fungus from forming in your mouth.|
|Spearmint Oil||Valued primarily for its ability to freshen breath, spearmint oil kills fungus, tastes good, and relieves some toothaches.|
|Wintergreen Oil||Closely related to aspirin, wintergreen oil relieves pain, as well as controlling plaque, and killing gingivitis.|
|Vanilla Oil||Vanilla oil works well against pain and inflammation.|
How to Use Mouthwash
Begin by pouring about 20ml (4 tsp) of mouthwash into a small cup. Then, pour it into your mouth and swish with your tongue and cheek vigorously for about sixty seconds. Next, carefully lean your head back and gently gargle the back of your throat to kill any bacteria that might be hanging out. Finally, spit the mouthwash into your sink, and rinse any residue out of your mouth with cool water.
- Friedman, DDS, Michael. “Choosing a Toothbrush: The Pros and Cons of Electric and Disposable.” WebMD, 9 Oct. 2019, https://www.webmd.com/oral-health/guide/choosing-a-toothbrush-the-pros-and-cons-of-electric-and-disposable.
- Claydon, N. C. A., et al. “Clinical Study to Compare the Effectiveness of a Test Whitening Toothpaste with a Commercial Whitening Toothpaste at Inhibiting Dental Stain.” Journal of Clinical Periodontology, vol. 31, no. 12, Dec. 2004, pp. 1088–91. DOI.org (Crossref), doi:10.1111/j.1600-051x.2004.00611.x.
- Unknown, Author. “What Is Fluoride? Uses, Benefits, Side Effects, and Safety.” Healthline, 24 May 2018, https://www.healthline.com/health/what-is-fluoride.
- “Three Things You Didn’t Know about Mouthwash That May Change Your Mind.” Klooster Family Dentistry, 19 June 2017, https://kloosterfamilydentistry.com/2017/06/19/three-things-didnt-know-mouthwash/.