14 Essential Oral Hygiene Tips (Secrets to Perfect Oral Health)

Your smile is your most valuable asset – and one that we can make sure is vibrant, healthy, and a source of confidence with the right love and care!

In order to protect our smile, it is important that we make sure our oral hygiene is perfect. That's what we’re here for! If you’re looking for the best way to look after your oral health, read on. 

In this article, we will be covering some of the best ways to look after your oral health. 

We will remind you of some of those easy-to-forget tips, as well as the top oral hygiene tips that may have never crossed your mind. Let's get into it!

Tip 1: Brushing Twice a Day 

This one is easy! The American Dental Association recommends that you brush your teeth twice a day, both morning and night, for 2 minutes each time. 

When you brush your teeth, it is best to do so with a soft-bristled toothbrush as harder toothbrushes can actually cause damage to your teeth. 

It is important to brush your teeth in a circular motion and to ensure that your hind teeth are properly cleared as cavities can often build up in these hard-to-reach areas. 

Good lighting and a magnifying mirror can help you check for any spots you may miss. 

Make sure that you do not eat anything after brushing your teeth at night, as food particles can stay stuck in our teeth while we sleep! 

If you have a sugary meal or find yourself checking to see if you have bad breath, it may be a good idea to add in a third brush for good measure. 

Tip 2: Regularly Replace Your Toothbrush 

The CDC recommends that your toothbrush should be replaced every 3 to 4 months, or if the bristles look worse for wear! A good rule of thumb is replacing your toothbrush at the start of a new season.

Regularly replacing your toothbrush stops your toothbrush from harboring harmful bacteria and makes sure that your toothbrush is still cleaning your teeth as it should. 

If you’re forgetful, adding a timed reminder on your phone or calendar can be a helpful way to remember this helpful habit. 

Tip 3: Invest In An Electric Toothbrush 

If you’re someone who's conscious of your dental hygiene, then investing in an electric toothbrush is a worthwhile purchase!

New generation sonic toothbrushes help clean teeth better than any other toothbrushes and vibrate up to 30,000 times a minute to help remove plaque. This helps to remove food build up, and bacteria better than manual brushing. 

Studies have found that electric toothbrushes are better at removing plaque compared to manual toothbrushes. Paired with the right toothpaste, electric toothbrushes can help to elevate your oral hygiene game. 

It is important to replace the toothbrush head every few months, just like you would any other toothbrush. 

Tip 4: Using The Right Toothpaste 

Toothpaste helps to clean our teeth and keeps them free of plaque and cavities which can result in tooth and gum damage! 

The right toothpaste will also form a protective layer over your teeth and will help keep your breath fresh long after you have brushed your teeth. 

Toothpaste like Boka’s n-Ha toothpaste helps to remineralize teeth and supports enamel health and strength. 

This reduces our teeth’s sensitivity and helps keep teeth healthy. Their toothpaste also helps to remove the bacteria that cause bad breath – helping keep your breath fresh all day. 

If you have young children, it is important to invest in child-friendly toothpaste which is less strong than normal adult toothpaste. 

Tip 5: Cleaning Your Tongue 

Cleaning your tongue (either with a toothbrush or a specialized tongue scraper) is useful to remove food particles and bacteria that can live on your tongue. 

Cleaning your tongue is best done right after you’ve brushed your teeth, and after a while will become second nature to you! 

Tongue cleaning is also thought to help reduce bad breath, which is always a good sign of careful oral hygiene. 

Try Boka’s Rasana Stainless Steel Tongue Scraper for gentle and effective cleaning of tongue, removal of plaque buildup, and freshens breath. 

Tip 6: Flossing Daily 

We know that flossing is not everyone's best friend, but it should be if you’re aiming for perfect oral health. 

Harmful bacteria and plaque can often hide between our teeth and are missed with regular toothbrushing. 

Ideally, you should floss before you brush your teeth, but flossing after you brush your teeth is better than nothing!

Flossing has been shown to have various benefits, including protecting the health of our gums and teeth. Investing that extra minute to floss your teeth, and using safe and effective floss is a great investment for maintaining oral hygiene.  

“...dental floss and other interdental cleaners help clean these hard-to-reach tooth surfaces and reduce the likelihood of gum disease and tooth decay.” 

- American Dental Association 

Tip 7: Rinsing With Mouthwash

Mouthwash is a great tool to use between brushes and helps to freshen your breath when you are in a rush. 

The right mouthwash has various other benefits, such as supporting a healthy microbiome and soothing irritated gums! 

Benefits of using mouthwash include fighting bacteria that are too difficult to reach with a toothbrush. 

This may include above our gums or right at the back of our teeth! Rinsing your mouth with mouthwash also helps to reduce plaque and can kill bacteria that can contribute to bad breath. 

If you are a coffee drinker, consider investing in dissolvable mouthwash tablets which you can pop in your bag, for a quick way to get rid of coffee breath on the go. 

Tip 8: Using Probiotics

Probiotics are all the rage – and for good reason. 

When we hear ‘bacteria,’ we often think ‘bad.’ However, our body supports both good and bad bacteria – especially in our mouths! 

While the bad bacteria can cause dental decay and bad breath, the good bacteria keep these bad guys in check. 

Probiotics help to support the good bacteria and make sure they can keep the odor and disease-causing organisms at bay. 

Studies have found that “Restoring the normal oral flora of the oral cavity with probiotics is a possible way of preventing the development of oral diseases.”

Tip 9: Watch Your Diet 

Everyone knows that diet is important for your health, but we tend to forget just how important a good diet is for our oral health!

While a diet rich in nutrients can help support strong teeth and healthy gums (as well as prevent other dental issues), a poor diet can cause many unpleasant, diseases. 

Calcium-rich foods, such as dairy foods help to keep our teeth strong. The calcium in foods such as milk, yogurt, and cheese helps to strengthen the enamel which protects your teeth against erosion and cavities.

Other foods that help to perfect our oral hygiene game include foods rich in fiber. Fruit and vegetables such as apples, celery, and leafy greens help to increase saliva production. 

Saliva is important to regulate our mouth’s pH and is our body’s natural way of ensuring that our teeth stay clean and protected! 

Foods to avoid to help support your oral hygiene include sugary foods, such as sweets and desserts, and acidic foods, as they can contribute to tooth decay

The bacteria in your mouth feed on the sugars in your diet and produce acids that can erode tooth enamel. 

Over time, this can lead to tooth decay and cavities! Constant exposure to sugary foods and drinks (especially between meals) can increase the risk of tooth decay and is a real setback to your dental hygiene practices. 

Tip 10: Regular Visits To The Dentists 

It is generally recommended that you have dental checkups every 6-12 months! 

If you have had issues with your dental health in the past or are over the age of 50, you will likely need to make more frequent visits to the dentist. 

While most of us are guilty of neglecting our dental visits, they are important to make sure our oral health is up to scratch. 

Frequent checkups ensure that small problems do not turn into bigger ones, which are costly and negatively impact our health further down the line if ignored. 

A dentist will also make recommendations on how you can improve your dental health and will often give your teeth a good clean at the end of your visit! 

When you have a dental check-up, your dentist can also look at your mouth through an X-ray machine. 

An oral X-ray will help to reveal cavities that are not visible to the naked eye. They will also be able to look at the health of your tooth roots and identify any abscesses or cysts that can cause issues. 

Tip 11: Drink Plenty Of Water

Drinking plenty of water is good for a whole array of things, but especially for good oral health! 

Drinking water helps to wash away any food particles stuck in between our teeth that cavity-causing bacteria love to feed on. 

It also helps to stimulate saliva production which helps protect our teeth from damage and supports gum health. 

Water is also great for oral health as it neutralizes acids and washes away sugars which can result in enamel erosion. 

While drinking plenty of water is always good for our dental hygiene, it is important to make sure we drink water after drinking fizzy drinks, sugary foods, and fruits high in acids! 

Drinking water after having a cup of tea or coffee is also a great idea, as it helps reduce staining and bad coffee breath!

Tip 12: Avoid Excess Alcohol Consumption 

High levels of alcohol consumption are detrimental to our oral health. Heavy alcohol abuse can result in gum disease, tooth decay, and mouth sores. It is also a significant risk factor for oral cancer. Smoking and alcohol together greatly increases the risk.

“Consumption of alcohol inevitably affects the oral cavity, oral mucosa, and teeth.” -Journal of Clinical and Diagnostic Research for Doctors

If you do have the occasional drink, try to limit alcohol that has been mixed with sweetened fizzy drinks or drinks that are high in acidity (such as lemonade). 

Tip 13: Avoid Smoking And Vaping 

Stopping or avoiding smoking altogether is one of the best things you can do for your oral health! 

Smoking can cause oral cancer, dental diseases, and conditions that negatively impact our oral health. 

While quitting smoking is difficult, there is support you can access to try and protect your mouth’s health. 

Vaping has also been found to negatively affect our oral health. Vaping has been associated with more plaque (as well as gum damage) which can contribute to poor dental health. 

Nicotine patches, or nicotine gum, are a great alternative that smokers can use to protect their teeth from the damaging effects of smoking or vaping on our oral health. 

Tip 14: Chew Sugar-Free Gum 

Chewing sugar-free gum is not only an easy way to freshen your breath, but it can actually help your oral health! 

Chewing gum naturally stimulates saliva production. This helps to rinse away any food particles, which can contribute to plaque production. 

This increased saliva also helps to neutralize any acids lingering in our mouth, which can cause damage to our teeth.

It is important to remember that while gum that contains sugar will increase your saliva production, it will also feed the bacteria that cause plaque and bad breath. So, it’s best to opt for sugar-free gum every time! 

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