Shine Bright with the Best Oral Hygiene Routine

Shine Bright with the Best Oral Hygiene Routine

Health begins in your mouth. 

It is widely accepted that a good oral hygiene routine is necessary for keeping our teeth strong, gums healthy, and breath fresh, but the importance of oral health goes far beyond that! 

Oral health is integral to our overall health, well-being, and quality of life. 

If you’re someone who has experienced repeated unpleasant dental procedures over the years, you may be willing to invest extra time and energy into your oral hygiene going forward. 

Or, perhaps you’ve got a relatively good track record with oral health but are interested in learning about the latest products and techniques. 

This article explores the ins and outs of an optimal oral hygiene routine, from how to perfect your basic daily hygiene habits to diet and lifestyle tweaks you can make to upgrade your oral health.

Let’s get into it!

The Importance of Oral Hygiene 

Oral hygiene is essential to maintaining a healthy mouth and avoiding nasty dental bills. 

Proper oral hygiene (brushing and flossing) can increase your chances of maintaining your teeth for the rest of your life. Dental plaque is a bacteria-filled, sticky film that needs to be removed to maintain the health of your teeth. Plaque accumulation can cause gum disease and tooth decay. 

When we speak of a healthy mouth, we are not only referring to the teeth but also to the gum tissue and supporting bones. 

Oral health has cosmetic benefits: it keeps your teeth white, your gums in good condition, your tongue clean, and your breath fresh. 

Maintaining good oral health can also prevent oral diseases such as tooth decay and periodontal (gum) disease. If left untreated, oral diseases can lead to tooth extraction and tooth loss (not fun!)

A good oral hygiene routine also supports a balanced oral microbiome – meaning the growth of good bacteria in the oral cavity is encouraged, and the growth of pathogenic (bad) bacteria is minimized.

A growing body of research has established that oral health is related to systemic health

Associations have been discovered between periodontal (gum) disease and a number of other health conditions in different areas of the body, including heart disease, dementia, and diabetes. 

More research is needed to confirm this causality, but it is suspected that pathogenic (bad) bacteria in the oral cavity can travel to other areas of the body and contribute to disease. 

Another theory suggests that inflammation in the oral cavity may increase inflammation in the bloodstream, which affects the body’s immune response. 

Our oral health also affects us psychosocially. Our mouths allow us to perform basic human functions such as speaking, conversing, smiling, kissing, tasting, and chewing. 

Oral health issues can have a significant impact on one’s self-esteem and social well-being. 

Brushing Basics 

Perhaps the most obvious and basic step in a good oral hygiene routine is brushing your teeth. 

Brushing your teeth helps to remove plaque. If plaque is not removed, it can harden and turn to tartar, which can lead to gingivitis or periodontal disease. 

Brush your teeth two times every single day. Try to brush in between your teeth at least once a day. Employ dental floss, a specialized brush, or a wooden or plastic pick that has been advised by a dentist. Alternatively, use a water flosser, floss threader, or floss holder.

If you have tartar on your teeth, you’ll need to visit a dental hygienist to have it removed – so it’s best to prevent tartar from accumulating in the first place! 

While we all (hopefully!) brush our teeth, not many of us know how to do it properly. 

To ensure you’re getting the most benefit from brushing, pay attention to the following tips:

Choose the right toothbrush

Choosing the right toothbrush for your oral health needs is crucial. 

While you might assume that firmer bristles do a better job of removing plaque and food buildup, the American Dental Association (ADA)  recommends a soft-bristled toothbrush. 

If you have sensitive teeth or gums, a toothbrush with softer bristles will be more gentle.

The size and shape of your brush should fit with your mouth, allowing you to reach all areas of the oral cavity easily. 

Alternatively, you may wish to consider using an electric toothbrush to improve brushing efficiency. 

Boka’s electric toothbrush contains charcoal bristles, which help to limit bacterial growth and provide a gentler brushing experience! 

If you’re unsure, speak to your dentist or hygienist to figure out which toothbrush is right for your specific needs.

Remember to replace your toothbrush every three months, or when the bristles become worn. Using an old, frayed toothbrush will not clean your teeth effectively. 

Choose the right toothpaste

Now that you’ve got your toothbrush sorted, it’s important to select the right kind of toothpaste for brushing your teeth. 

Certain common ingredients and additives in toothpaste can be harmful. For instance, Sodium Lauryl Sulfate (SLS) can irritate sensitive teeth and gums

Propylene Glycol, which is used to prolong the shelf-life of toothpaste, can damage the liver, kidneys, and nervous system

Triclosan is another common chemical added to toothpaste for its antibacterial properties. However, studies have shown that triclosan can irritate the gut and interfere with hormone function.

That seems daunting! Never fear – there are plenty of toothpastes on the market containing natural, healthy, and beneficial ingredients. 

Well-researched ingredients to look out for include potassium nitrate, zinc nitrate, calcium carbonate, hydrogen peroxide, and nano-hydroxyapatite (n-Ha). 

A great option is Boka’s range of n-Ha toothpastes, which contain science-backed superstar ingredient n-Ha along with soothing aloe vera, bacteria-fighting xylitol, and other natural ingredients that freshen your breath, whiten teeth, and restore a healthy balanced microbiome. The toothpaste is also SLS-free

n-Ha is a type of calcium that makes up 97% of our enamel (the hard, protective outer layer of the tooth). n-Ha is restorative and remineralizing, and completely safe to ingest. 

So what about fluoride?

Fluoride is a controversial toothpaste ingredient that has sparked ongoing debate

While fluoride has been shown to help prevent tooth decay, strengthen enamel, and limit bacterial growth, it can cause fluorosis (white or brown speckles on teeth) – or worse, impair neurological and endocrine function.

A 2012 study showed that high levels of fluoride can adversely impact children’s neurological development, and a 2006 study discovered that it affects normal endocrine function and response. 

Ultimately, it is down to the individual to decide whether or not to use fluoride-containing toothpaste. 

Brushing Tips

The ADA recommends the following tips for brushing your teeth:

  • Brush twice a day, for at least two minutes. Brushing for two minutes has been shown to achieve significant plaque removal
  • Place your toothbrush at a 45-degree angle to the gums
  • Gently move the toothbrush back and forward in short strokes
  • Brush the outer surfaces, inner surfaces, and chewing surfaces of your teeth
  • To clean the back of your teeth, tilt the brush vertically and make up-and-down strokes.

Flossing Finesse

Flossing is another essential step in any good oral hygiene routine. Unfortunately, it is often overlooked when we are crunched for time. 

You may be wondering: do I really need to floss every day? The answer is yes!

Flossing cleans plaque that forms in the gaps between your teeth - AKA the areas your toothbrush cannot reach.

Traditional dental floss is a smooth strand of nylon that slides easily between the teeth.

Boka’s flavored floss comes in pleasant Ela Mint or Cinna Mint flavors to provide a satisfying clean, while steering clear of BPA, parabens, SLS, and PFAS. 

For deeper and more thorough cleaning, Boka’s power floss contains various-sized rotating nozzles, a spray head, and different pressure settings. 

The ADA recommends flossing at least once a day. As long as you’re flossing thoroughly, it does not matter if you do it before or after brushing. 

ADA’s Step-by-Step Guide to Flossing

  1. Use a string of floss that is approximately one foot long. Wrap it around the middle finger of each hand
  2. Grip the floss between the thumb and index finger of each hand
  3. Gently position the floss between your teeth, until it just touches your gum. Don’t force the floss into place - this could harm your gums
  4. Curve the floss like the letter C around each tooth. Keep the floss in contact with the side of the tooth. Slide the floss up and down under the gum
  5. Repeat steps 3 and 4 for both sides of every tooth. Adjust the floss as you move around the mouth, to ensure it stays clean. 

Flossing should not be painful. If you floss too vigorously, you may notice your gums bleeding. 

However, being too gentle might leave plaque or food behind! You may feel some discomfort when you first floss – but with practice, you’ll get a sense of the correct level of pressure. 

Tongue Twisters 

Tongue scraping can be an excellent addition to your oral hygiene routine. It’s an ancient Ayurvedic Medicine practice that dates back thousands of years.  

Scraping your tongue eliminates toxins and bacteria, removes the white or pale yellow coating on your tongue that leads to bad breath, enhances your sense of taste, and even promotes digestive health. 

Using a tongue scraper twice daily for seven days decreased the total incidence of Lactobacilli and Mutans streptococci bacteria in the mouth, according to research published in a 2005 study. Dental decay and foul breath are known to be caused by these types of bacteria.

There are a variety of tongue scrapers on the market, with the two most commonly used materials being plastic or stainless steel. 

Using a stainless steel tongue scraper is preferable as it is more durable and environmentally friendly. 

Step By Step Guide to Tongue Scraping:

  • Open your mouth wide and stick out your tongue. It is useful to do this in front of a mirror
  • Put the tongue scraper in your mouth as far back as you can. Be careful not to trigger your gag reflex
  • Gently scrape your tongue from back to front to eliminate the coating
  • Spit out excess saliva and debris, and rinse your mouth with water
  • Rinse your tongue scraper with warm water
  • Repeat the process as many times as needed. 


Mouthwash is another useful addition to your daily oral hygiene routine. 

Mouthwashes help to control bad breath and leave your mouth feeling minty-fresh. 

Some products contain active ingredients that are intended to control plaque and bacteria, treat gingivitis, or provide relief from oral sores. 

Mouthwash typically comes in a liquid solution or as chewable tablets. 

Boka’s Restore Mouthwash Tablets are activated by saliva. They work to freshen your breath, remineralize teeth, and soothe gums. 

Plus, they include powerful probiotics that work to restore your oral microbiome. It’s as simple as chewing the tablet, allowing the saliva to activate it, swishing around your mouth, and spitting!

The ADA suggests that mouthwash does not replace optimal brushing and flossing, but can offer additional benefits. 

Diet and lifestyle 

Along with sticking to an optimal oral hygiene routine, certain dietary and lifestyle changes can also enhance the health of your teeth and mouth. 

Just as good nutrition impacts your general health, it plays a significant part in maintaining good oral health. 

Adequate intake of nutrients is essential for a healthy mouth. Minerals like calcium and phosphorus protect your tooth because they strengthen and preserve tooth enamel. The tooth's enamel is its hard outer layer of tooth protection. 

Eating foods rich in calcium (such as dairy products, tofu, leafy greens, and almonds) and foods rich in phosphorus (like meat, poultry, dairy, and eggs) can benefit your tooth health. 

Further, eating fruits and vegetables (which are high in fiber and water) can help to clean your teeth, and stimulate saliva production which washes away harmful acids, thus neutralizing your mouth and protecting teeth from decay.

While some foods benefit your oral health, others are a detriment!

For instance, it is widely accepted that sugar is harmful. When we eat sugar, the sugar interacts with the bacteria present in plaque, creating acid. 

This acid can soften and dissolve the enamel on your teeth, leading to tooth decay. Severe tooth decay can cause significant pain and infection, and tooth extraction may be required (ouch!). 

Tooth decay can be prevented by limiting sugar. while all sugar-containing foods can create acid (even natural sugars like fruit and honey), processed white sugar (found in foods like ice cream, soft drinks, and candy) is the key culprit. 

Sugar also leaves a sticky residue on your teeth that is too adhesive for saliva to wash away, so after eating a sweet treat - brush as soon as possible. 

Another lifestyle change you can make to improve your oral health is giving up smoking. Smoking is a well-known risk factor for periodontal (gum) disease

Importance of Dental Visits 

A good oral hygiene routine is essential for a healthy mouth and body. 

The most important takeaways are to brush optimally, floss every day, and supplement with tongue scraping and mouthwash. Consider making lifestyle and diet choices to support your oral health. 

Even if you abide by all of the aforementioned tips and tricks, it is important to schedule regular dental appointments! 

Dental check-ups can identify oral health issues early, like tooth decay, gum diseases, and oral cancer, so they can be treated before they cause pain,  infection, and permanent deformity. 

Remember: preventative visits are painless, and can help you avoid a more painful or costly treatment down the line.

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