When it comes to good oral hygiene, a preventive approach is the key to success. This is important at every state of life, but especially the older you get. Neglecting your dental health as you age can have serious consequences, including premature aging of the smile (gum recession and/or tooth discoloration) and the need for extensive and expensive corrective procedures. The good news is that if you follow the simple preventive habits listed below earlier in life, it can help avoid these consequences. Let’s start with effective oral hygiene instructions for adults with a few simple steps:
- Brushing: To get the best oral hygiene results from toothbrushing, use an electric toothbrush. If you’re using a manual toothbrush, hold it at a 45-degree angle to your gums. Use short, circular strokes to move the brush over each tooth. Be sure you brush your teeth at least twice a day, including the front and back sides of all your upper and lower teeth. Take enough time to do a thorough job—up to 2 minutes each. Also, gently brush your tongue to remove odor-causing bacteria that will help give you fresher breath. Replace your toothbrush every three months. Watch out for over brushing, which may result in receding gums.
- Flossing: One method that helps maintain oral hygiene by removing bacteria from areas between the teeth that are hard to reach by brushing alone is flossing. To floss your teeth, start with an 18-inch piece of floss, and wrap most of it around the middle finger of one hand. Wrap a small amount around the middle finger of the other hand. Move the floss carefully up and down between each tooth, and make a C-shape with the floss as you reach the gum line. As you move from tooth to tooth, unwind new floss from one hand and wind the used floss onto the other hand.
- Rinsing: Rinsing with a mouthwash can get to places that your toothbrush and even the deep cleaning of floss can miss. Look for a mouthwash that contains fluoride, because fluoride is proven to strengthen enamel and fight cavities. In addition, a mouthwash such as Crest Pro-Health Advanced strengthens enamel, prevents cavities, and kills bad breath bacteria. A dental rinse is often recommended for additional oral hygiene if you wear braces.
- Choose the right products: The variety of oral hygiene products makes it easy for anyone to follow a regular oral hygiene routine. Choose toothbrushes and types of dental floss that you find easy and comfortable to use and you’ll be more inclined to stick with your oral hygiene routine.
- Consult Your Dentist: Make dental visits part of your oral hygiene routine. Visit your dentist twice a year to help keep tooth stains under control and identify oral hygiene issues before any serious problems arise.
- Eat Right: A nutritious, balanced diet is essential for your overall health, and it’s important for your oral hygiene, too. Be sure to include plenty of dairy products, fruits, vegetables, and whole grains in your diet. Some foods that are especially good for oral hygiene: cheese, yogurt, milk, and peanuts. These foods can help remove sugars from the tooth surface and protect the teeth from plaque.
- Achieve a Brighter Smile: Following a regular oral hygiene routine can help you maintain whitened teeth and prevent additional tooth staining. Brush your teeth or rinse your mouth with a Crest 3D White product after eating foods or drinking beverages that tend to stain teeth, such as coffee and red wine.
Oral hygiene is essential to prevent tooth decay and to maintain healthy teeth. Caring for teeth and gums is equally important at every stage of your life.Regardless of your age, see your dentist and hygienist twice each year and make time for a complete oral health care routine every day so that your smile is healthy well into your golden years.
These are the bare essentials for maintaining oral hygiene, but the oral care products you choose can make a big difference in the health of your teeth and gums. Here’s just one collection of products from Crest® PRO-HEALTH® that can help improve your oral health: Crest Pro-Health Advanced Toothpaste fights plaque and gingivitis; Crest Pro-Health Advanced Mouthwash strengthens enamel for a healthier mouth; and the Oral-B Pro-Health All-In-One Toothbrush removes plaque and reduces gingivitis. Use them to help advance to a healthier, stronger, cleaner mouth from Day 1.†
- † With continued use vs. brushing alone with ordinary toothpaste. Starts fighting plaque from day 1.
Discover MoreWhat is a Root Canal? - Pain, Procedure, & Cost