5 Steps to Keeping Your Mouth Healthy

5 Steps to Keeping Your Mouth Healthy

Posted by Dr. Richard Sellen Mar 09,2021

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Having a healthy mouth is more than just having straight, white teeth. Even if your smile is cavity-free, it doesn’t necessarily mean you have a healthy mouth! You could still have gum disease or any number of other issues in your mouth without even knowing it. 

To make sure you’re keeping your mouth as healthy as possible, make sure you follow these 5 steps:

1. Brush Twice a Day

Maybe the most obvious item on this list, it’s imperative that you brush your teeth twice a day—once when you wake up and once before you go to bed. Stick to a quality made electric or soft-bristled toothbrush, as those will be the most effective at cleaning your teeth. If you’re using an electric brush, make sure you let the brush do the work, don’t scrub along with it. Instead, make small circular movements with the brush. This will ensure that you’re cleaning every region of your teeth, as well as those easy-to-miss gumline regions. 

2. Remember to Brush Your Tongue and Palate!

Bacteria doesn’t live solely on your teeth. Your tongue and palate are breeding grounds for harmful bacteria that can cause you some serious mouth health issues if not taken care of. Moreover, taking good care of your tongue and palate also leads to fresh-smelling breath! It’s a win-win not just for you, but for those around you. 

3. Floss, Floss, Floss, Floss

Look, who isn’t tired of their dentist telling them to floss? We get it. Still, flossing daily—preferably at night and before brushing—plays a crucial role in the disruption of bacterial biofilm (aka “plaque”). Doing this before brushing means your toothbrush can easily scrub away the now loosened plaque. 

Need a good flossing tip? Wrap your floss around the tooth and gently rub the surface of the tooth (imagine hugging or making a c-shape around the tooth). 

4. Consider Using Mouthwash

Mouthwash should never be used instead of brushing or flossing, but it is a great way to keep your breath incredibly fresh. If possible, use a mouthwash that doesn’t have alcohol in it. Why? Most brand-name mouthwashes have alcohol (specifically ethanol) in them, which can cause dryness, burning, and even aggravate many oral conditions. On the other hand, research has shown that alcohol-free mouthwashes can have a positive effect on the gloss, color, wear, and hardness of your teeth. 

5. Get Regular Check-Ups and Cleanings

When you come in to see us, we do more than look at your gum health and screen for cavities. We’re also searching for stress fractures in the teeth, screening for oral cancer, sleep disordered breathing, and any other signs of infection. Think of coming to the dentist much like you would getting your yearly physical. It’s quick, painless, and can save you a significant amount of headache down the line. 

Dr. Richard D. Sellen is a licensed dentist in Willow Glen, San Jose, California. If you are ready for a healthy and beautiful smile, head on over to our contact page or give us a call at 408.264.3133.

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