If you're like many people who currently enjoy good dental health, you practice good home oral hygiene most of the time. For instance, you probably brush your teeth twice per day, floss, and use mouthwash in the morning. However, you may also be guilty of taking your healthy teeth and gums for granted, and this is a mistake. Ongoing dental health requires preventive measures that go a little beyond what most people think of as being good oral hygiene, and tooth decay nonetheless occurs in those who brush and floss twice per day.
Fortunately, there are strategies designed to provide your teeth with an extra layer of protection. Here's what you need to know about being proactive against tooth decay.
Use a Flouride Mouthwash Twice Per Day
One of the best weapons against tooth decay is fluoride, so be sure that the mouthwash you use has it listed as an ingredient. This is particularly important for those who get their drinking water from private wells or other sources that aren't fortified with fluoride.
Rinse Your Mouth With Water After Eating or Drinking
If you work outside of the home, go to school, or otherwise are somewhere else besides your house when you consume your midday meal, chances are you don't brush your teeth after eating — and unless you have a private office with its own bathroom, this is a smart move. However, you should make sure to thoroughly rinse your mouth with water after lunch is over to remove any sugar and oral bacteria residue.
Most people don't immediately brush and floss their teeth after enjoying their evening meal, instead preferring to make it a part of their just-before-bed routine. However, there are usually several hours between the end of dinner and when most people go to bed, so rinse your mouth after you eat.
Use a Straw When Drinking
If you routinely drink beverages with sugar in them, one of the best things you can do for your oral health is to drink them through a straw. This prevents the liquid from coming into contact with your teeth. You should also see your dentist every six months for a routine checkup and professional teeth cleaning session. Although many people don't see the point in seeing a dentist if there is nothing obviously wrong with their dental health, your dentist will be able to identify any emerging tooth decay issues and treat them while they're still small.
For more information on general dentistry and oral health best practices, contact a local dentist.