When I was a kid, I used to think that dental hygiene was important for preventing cavities and for freshening one's breath. That's it. Now as an adult, I realize that there is so much more to it than just that.
Oral hygiene can mirror the overall condition of your health. There are many different types of illnesses linked to poor oral health. One of the more well established researches claim that dental hygiene and cardiovascular diseases are actually linked, caused by bacteria in the mouth entering the bloodstream and causing blood clots. There is very detailed information that you can find on the internet, in books or if you ask your dentist. I have not specialized in dentistry, but know this much: getting proper tools for caring for our teeth is essential and worth it in the long run.
There is so much you can get out in the market, but the items can be bulky. Here's how I organized everything:
I purchased a tall, medium sized basket. This works great because everything is contained in one spot instead of all over the counter, it is not an eyesore because of the height, and if there are people coming over, you can unplug the equipment and place the entire basket inside the bathroom cabinet.
Here are the contents:
To be clear, I am not an expert and am just sharing what I use personally. Please make sure you ask your dentist what works best for you! I'll break down my current routine into morning and night:
Morning: Goal - Freshen Breath!
1) I use a manual toothbrush in the morning. I'm sure this is too much information, but after brushing my teeth, I also make sure to clean my tongue, inner cheeks and roof of mouth to get rid of all of the bacteria. This guarantees fresh breath as well, rather than only brushing teeth. This process should take at least 2 minutes.
2) Mouthwash is used to complement brushing. It helps to reduce tartar, plaque and gingivitis. I use a whitening mouthwash.
3) Some people choose to floss in the morning too. This is because plaque forms on teeth at night as well, and floss cleans it out. I haven't gotten around to getting so detailed though :(
Night: Goal - Thoroughly Get Rid of Food Particles
1) Floss picks used for getting out bigger food particles and plaque.
2) Electric toothbrush. This is something new I am trying out based on the recommendation of my dental hygienist. Research shows that electric toothbrushes are better at removing plaque from teeth than manual ones. I am personally finding the process a little uncomfortable, but might just need some getting used to. The good thing about these brushes is that they beep after every 30 seconds, letting you know that you are done with one quadrant of your teeth. It makes sure you brush properly for 2 minutes.
3) My favorite part! The Hydro Floss Oral Irrigator. This is a device that removes debris and plaque after brushing by flushing it out. You just add lukewarm water into the machine and use the jet spray at a setting that's comfortable to you around your gumline. You'd be surprised at how much food still comes out even after brushing and flossing! The Hydro Floss reaches hard to reach areas. It can be noisy but the water spray is generally a soothing process. I end the process by rinsing my mouth once more.
It's also essential to visit the dentist every 6 months for a deep cleaning.
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