There hardly is anything in our bodies that we put more effort in prevention about than our teeth!
Most people we know of would brush their teeth at least once a day, many use mouthwash or floss. We simply know deep in our minds that keeping our teeth in good shape is vital to our survival, to the basic ability to feed ourselves.
Yet so many people, despite their best efforts, still have issues with their teeth. We know. We do.
Oral health is dependent on many factors. We already covered the role of diet, specifically sugar, and what is dental tartar and why it should be cleaned.
In this post, we focus on how to keep good dental hygiene:
- brushing: the importance of both techniques and toothbrushes;
- flossing and interdental cleaning: why it is adamant and how to make it less of a chore;
- tongue cleaning: removing that bad bacteria;
- toothpaste: does it matter which one we choose;
Our dental hygiene today
When we started challenging our dental hygiene methods, gradually we ended up swapping our manual toothbrush for an electric one, we got into flossing and eventually bought a water flosser as well as we started cleaning our tongue and using a non-fluoride, natural toothpaste.
Electric toothbrushes are one of those rare modern gizmos that actually make you healthier.
And there is no need for a sophisticated explanation why. You simply cannot move your hand as fast and perform nearly as many movements as an electric motor.
How to choose your electric toothbrush?
We, personally find a Philips Sonicare electric toothbrush as the most pleasant to use.
You can choose from a variety of models, though, and the best one is the one that you feel you can use every day.
We initially went for an Oral B like this one, which is a good choice in itself. However, using the Philips was more intuitive to us.
No matter which type or brand of toothbrush you choose, make sure you check if a specific type of technique is recommended.
Our Philips, for example, needs to be used at an angle towards the gumline.
You need to master a brushing technique, such as this one, even for your normal, mechanical toothbrush.
Flossing is not nearly as popular as brushing is. Probably because it is not exactly a pleasant and easy exercise.
At the same time, you cannot say your teeth are clean if you haven’t flossed them.
Go for a water flosser
We struggled with dental floss and floss picks for quite some time until we discovered water flossing.
For the last couple of years, since we got our Waterpik Aquarius, we have generally healthier teeth and significantly less tartar.
We cannot recommend it more.
Toothpaste is overrated. As they teach in medical school, it is not as imporant what toothpaste you use, it is important how much you brush your teeth.
That said, the toothpaste you use should not contain any compounds that might not be good for health.
The debate about whether fluoride is good for health is getting hotter. For all we know, it is turning out that ingesting fluoride can be quite bad for you.
So, we would like to take no risks and go for toothpaste that does not have it.
As a rule of thumb, toothpaste made for people using homeopathic medicine are fluoride free. So go for something like this Ayurvedic Herbal Toothpaste.
The mouth is full of bacteria and the tongue houses a great part of it. Its somewhat spongy structure and close contact with food being the main reasons.
A simple, dedicated tongue cleaner can help you remove much of the food debris and bacteria that sit on your tongue. And a nicer breath is a great side effect.
Up until a couple of years ago, our dental hygiene was as good as anybody’s – we brushed our teeth twice a day, we tried to choose a higher quality toothbrush and toothpaste.
We did as our parents did, as our friends did, as we saw on TV. And somehow we did not challenge these practices.
Actually, in retrospect, dental hygiene was probably the first area about our health, which we became really conscious about.
That is because, as you may have read in more detail in our post about tartar, Andy had problems with bleeding gums. He had it for years but it was not until we understood that it was because of accumulated tartar, that we started questioning what should we do in order to improve our dental hygiene.
Gradually, we did improve it and now we do not have issues with our teeth! Also, because we improved our hygiene so much, we now need to go for a prophylactic tartar cleaning procedure not twice but once a year!