How to Maintain Proper Oral Hygiene

The health of your mouth, teeth, and gums is not only important for now, but also for when you get older. After your baby teeth are gone, you will only have one set of permanent teeth. These teeth are far better than having implants or dentures, especially when it comes to the health of people during their retirement years. Following the right oral hygiene regime now will help you to maintain your health in the future. At North Pole Dental Workshop in North Pole, AK, we've seen firsthand how teeth affect older people. That's why we recommend the following steps to keeping your teeth for as long as possible.

Brush Twice a Day

You should brush about 30 to 45 minutes after breakfast and just before bed. This will give you the optimum benefit from brushing, allowing mouth acid levels to return to normal before you brush. Extra soft bristles work for those with a sensitive mouth; be sure to take more time and care, so you get the best cleaning available.

Floss Once a Day

Choose a time when you won't have to rush your flossing. You want to floss before you brush. That will allow your brush to remove the stuff that you dislodge from between your teeth. People whose teeth are close together need to floss even more than those with space between their teeth. If you happen to have teeth that are close together, use tape or floss specifically made for your mouth.

Other Care

Use a rinse. Some have fluoride or bacterial killer; some have both. Ask your dentist which is right for you. Do not eat, drink, or rinse with anything else until 30 minutes have passed.

Chew sugar-free gum with Xylitol. Xylitol kills bacteria and sweetens the gum. Chew for about 20 minutes after you eat a meal. This is especially helpful after lunch, since chewing gum is generally more acceptable than brushing your teeth when in public.

Signs of Other Problems

Chronic bad breath may be a signal of several different kinds of problems. Schedule an appointment with your dentist for a cleaning first, and discuss your breath odor with the dentist during your appointment. If the cleaning doesn't fix the issue, you may have some other problem that your dentist can help diagnose.

See Your Dentist

Make sure to get your teeth cleaned once every 6 months and follow the directions of your dentist. These steps may not keep you from seeing an emergency dentist in Fairbanks, but they should help you keep your teeth for as long as possible.