Make sure you’re looking after your teeth with this handy dental health checklist
You’ve probably heard and read a lot about looking after your oral health, some of it from us here at Middleborough Dental Care – especially if you’ve been reading all of our blog posts!
But we recognise that we all lead busy lives – particularly those of us with young families – so it’s not always easy to retain the important information, let alone recall it when you need to.
So, to help you keep track of what you should be doing to stay on top of your dental health routine, we’ve created this handy checklist (which you can download and print out).
General dental health checklist
Here’s an overview of the things you should be able to tick off:
- Brush your teeth at least twice a day, morning and night
- Floss between your teeth at least once a day
- Use a toothpaste with fluoride
- Use a soft-bristled toothbrush and replace it every couple of months
- Use your toothbrush or a tongue scraper to clean your tongue after brushing
- Gargle with alcohol-free mouthwash after your night-time brush when you see bleeding gums
- Cut back as much as you can on sugar-laden foods
- Chew sugarless gum to restore the PH level in your mouth after meals or snacks
- Make sure your diet includes calcium-rich foods (like milk and cheese)
- Visit the dentist every six months for check-ups and professional-level cleaning
Daily dental care routine
Now let’s go into a little more detail about what you should do every day and how best to do it.
The optimal time to brush your teeth is at least an hour after eating, three times a day. That’s the most effective way to ensure you remove food deposits to keep harmful bacteria from flourishing.
Brush your teeth for two full minutes each time, making sure to reach the teeth from every angle: front, back, sides, and the top (biting/chewing surfaces) so each tooth is thoroughly cleaned.
Align your toothbrush head at a 45-degree angle from your teeth and press down gently to make full contact. Move the brush in circular motions over every surface of your teeth. You can also use short back and forth brushstrokes to fully clean the grooves and crevices in your teeth.
Clean the entirety of your mouth, including your gum line, the roof of your mouth, your tongue, the interior of your cheeks, and all tooth surfaces.
While you should floss your teeth at least once per day it would be ideal to floss after every meal because it’s best to remove any food scraps from between your teeth as soon as possible.
Firmly hold the string of floss between your fingers and gently, but firmly, push the floss down between two teeth. Use an up and down motion to clean the enamel (keep in mind you’re able to brush the other surfaces, but not these). Reach far down into the pockets of your gums to clean that space and reduce the risk of periodontal disease.
To flush away all of the debris removed during your brushing and flossing session, swish mouthwash in your mouth at the end of your dental hygiene routine. Swish for up to a minute to give the key ingredients time to positively impact the health of your teeth and gums.
The right toothbrush, toothpaste, floss, and mouthwash products will help you thoroughly clean your teeth and gums to maintain great oral health.
Although electric toothbrushes tend to produce the best results, you can do a good job with a soft bristle manual toothbrush, with practice and concentration.
For your flossing needs, standard floss often works best, but you can also use picks and/or holders if you feel those add to your ability to clean between your teeth.
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If you have any questions, even if it’s around the right toothbrush or toothpaste, or the proper brushing teeth, please don’t hesitate to ask.
At Middleborough Dental Care, we’re all about helping you look after your teeth – and your overall health – so that you don’t have any serious issues that need major work.
We’ll see you for a check-up soon.