Whether you’re saying cheese for a family photo or greeting a potential employer for a job interview, your smile is one of the first things that people notice about you. A beautiful smile can light up a room!
In addition to a winning smile, it’s important to take good care of your mouth, teeth, and gums to help prevent bad breath, tooth decay, and gum disease.
So, what do you need to do to maintain a great-looking smile and healthy mouth?
Brush up on the Basics: Top Five Dental Hygiene Tips
Here’s what you should do for good oral hygiene:
- Brush your teeth twice a day with fluoride toothpaste and a soft-bristled toothbrush. When brushing your teeth, don’t forget to use the proper technique: Hold your toothbrush at a 45-degree angle to the gums; gently brush back and forth in short strokes; brush the outer, inner, and chewing surfaces of your teeth, as well as your tongue; and to clean the inside surfaces of the front teeth, tilt the brush vertically and make several up-and-down strokes.
- Floss daily to reach the tight spaces between your teeth and under the gumline. Cleaning between your teeth helps prevent cavities and gum disease by removing plaque, a sticky layer of film containing bacteria that accumulates on teeth.
- Rinse with mouthwash containing fluoride to promote oral health.
- Eat a healthy diet that limits sugary beverages and snacks. Everyone has harmful bacteria in their mouths. These harmful oral bacteria feed on the sugars you eat to create acids that can destroy the tooth enamel and cause cavities. Nutrition is an important part of good oral hygiene — check out the American Dental Association’s list of top foods for dental health.
- See your dentist regularly. Regular dental cleaning and exams can help prevent gum disease and other oral health problems.
While there may be nights that you’re so tired that you forget to brush your teeth, it’s important to be diligent about your dental health. Good daily oral care will help ensure a healthy mouth throughout your life — and that’s something to smile about!
Need dental coverage?
If you’re 19 or older, you can purchase an adult dental plan through Independence Blue Cross (Independence) at any time during the year, whether you’re enrolled in a health plan or not. You’ll get 100 percent coverage for cleanings, exams, and X-rays, and access to one of the largest networks in the nations, without a referral. To learn more about Independence’s dental plan options, visit ibx4you.