Having good oral hygiene is one of the best goals you can set for yourself and your family. Bad oral hygiene increases your chance of having bad breath and developing other oral diseases such as gingivitis, gum disease, and in some extreme cases, oral cancer. Dental hygiene is not just about the health of your teeth. It also involves your gums, tongue, and tooth enamel. Getting your children excited about having healthy teeth can also be a fun family bonding moment! Good dental hygiene can also improve your overall health. Here are our top three tips to improve your dental hygiene this year.

 1. Flossing is Just as Important as Brushing  

How often do you floss your teeth? Not needing to floss every day is one of the biggest myths about flossing. Only 28 percent of Canadians floss five times a week. It may seem like a hassle, but it is one of the most beneficial habits you can pick up for yourself. When food particles are left on the surface of your teeth or in your gum line, plaque forms. This plaque will eat away at your teeth’s enamel and create cavities and lead to tooth decay. The breakdown of food particles on your teeth is also the number one reason for bad breath.

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cropped view of woman flossing teeth with dental floss

Do your gums bleed when you try to floss? This is one of the biggest signs of improper flossing or gingivitis. When plaque builds up on your teeth, you can develop gingivitis which causes your teeth to bleed. If gingivitis is left untreated, it can develop into periodontitis. Periodontitis is a serious gum infection that can destroy the bone that supports your teeth. By taking two extra minutes in your dental hygiene routine, you can easily eliminate bad breath and lessen the chances of developing gum disease.

Your child’s teeth also need to be flossed! Try talking to your dentist about the right age for your child to start flossing. Generally, as soon as your child’s teeth start to touch, they need to be flossed. It can be difficult to get young children to floss their own teeth. Depending on how old they are, they may need your help. Plastic flossing tools will make it easier for you to gently floss their teeth. Incorporating flossing into your daily routine will make it easier for you and your child to get accustomed to flossing.

Beautiful little girl at visit in the dentist office. Dentist checkup teeth on her. Close-up. Selective focus.

2. Visit Your Dentist At Least Twice A Year

Around 80 percent of Canadians have a dentist. 75 percent of Canadians visit their dentist once a year and 86 percent visit once every two years. You should visit your dentist once every six months. Your dentist is trained to help you improve your overall oral health. Oral health problems can get worse over time when they are not treated. A dentist can spot any dental issues, oral cancer, cavities, or gum diseases from an early stage. 

A dentist will also give you a full and deep cleaning and remove any difficult food debris, plaque, and tartar build-up. Your dental office may also provide you with a brand-new toothbrush. Did you know that you should change your toothbrush every 90 days? Our Instagram page also highlights many other tips and tricks to help you improve your dental hygiene.

3. Use Mouthwash Daily

Mouthwash does more than prevent you from having bad breath. Mouthwash also prevents plaque build-up and stops cavities from forming. Should you rinse before or after brushing? Rinsing your mouth before you brush your teeth can help loosen food debris. This will make it easier for you to brush and floss.

Should you use alcohol or alcohol-free mouthwash? The alcohol in mouthwash contains ethanol which destroys most of the bacteria in your mouth. But this bacteria includes the good bacteria in your mouth. This can actually lead to bad breath! Additionally, the mouthwash can’t reach the harmful bacteria living under the gumline. Some people find that mouthwash with alcohol is too harsh and burns their mouth. It may also be too harsh for children’s mouths as well.

Senior Man Using Mouthwash Looking At Reflection In Bathroom Mirror Wearing Pajamas

The best alternative is alcohol-free mouthwash. This kind of mouthwash is less harsh on your mouth. But, it isn’t as effective at killing off bacteria in your mouth. On the other hand, this mouthwash stimulates the production of saliva. Saliva is  important for a healthy mouth. The alcohol in some types of mouthwashes can dry your mouth, and a dry mouth can lead to bad breath. A dentist can help you decide which oral products will help you improve your dental hygiene.

Here at Stroud Dental, we make sure your teeth are the happiest and healthiest they can be. Our dentists make regular dental care convenient for the whole family. With the unprecedented times, it can be easy to neglect your health. If you want to improve your overall health this year, try to improve your dental hygiene with our tips.