Oral Hygiene Tips

Healthy Tips for Keeping your Smile Clean

Oral hygiene can be a reflection of a person’s overall health. While many products on the market mask common symptoms that could indicate poor health, such as bad breath, maintaining good dental hygiene can improve general health. Improve your daily oral hygiene habits with the following tips. 

Brush at least twice a day

The first step to keeping a healthy smile is to brush. Brushing is the number one activity an individual can do to combat most dental issues like tooth decay and gum disease. To properly brush teeth, use a soft-bristle toothbrush, gently moving in a circular motion and make sure to apply enough pressure to remove plaque, but not too much to bend the bristles. Brushing too hard can remove enamel from teeth and cause gums to recede, causing more harm than good—in short, don’t be overzealous with brushing.

Furthermore, make sure to change your toothbrush every three to six months to get rid of the bacteria that accumulates over time. 

Floss once a day

Reaching between teeth with only a toothbrush can be difficult. Flossing at least once a day loosens the plaque in hard to reach places, directly fighting against gingivitis and cavities in those hard to reach spots. 

Rinse with mouthwash

Mouthwash will not replace brushing or flossing, but rinsing with mouthwash can provide additional benefits. Antiseptic mouthwash kills bacteria whereas mouthwash with fluoride can help strengthen enamel to safeguard dentition from dental caries and tooth sensitivities.

Stay hydrated

Dry mouth can lead to additional bacteria buildup, which promotes tooth decay. Keeping the body hydrated increases bodily functions that maintain an individual’s overall health, like producing saliva in the mouth and regulating body temperature.

Visit your dentist regularly

Plaque that isn’t removed after 24 hours leads to tartar buildup. Tartar houses harmful bacteria that can eventually result in serious dental issues, such as periodontal disease and tooth loss. Visiting our office for a routine checkup and cleaning allows our dentist to gently remove plaque and tartar and keep a watchful eye on. 

Limit the amount of sugary drinks and sweets

While sugar does not directly develop cavities, it does provide a food source for bacterium to thrive. Limiting intake of soda, juice, and coffee can dramatically increase your overall dental health.

Learn more about dental hygiene

For more information on maintaining proper dental hygiene, or to schedule a consultation with either Dr. Kelly Waggener or Dr. Jason Lehman, visit our Santa Rosa dental office or give us a call today!


We encourage you to contact us with any questions or comments you may have. Please call our office or use the contact form below.