Adult Daily Oral Hygiene Care

Best Adult Daily Oral Hygiene Care

Adult Daily Oral Hygiene Care

Besides seeing a dentist regularly, adults who establish a daily oral health care routine enjoy better overall health.

Creating positive lifestyle behaviors can aid in reducing the risk of problems with teeth and gums. The average Minnesota adult has a busy work and family schedule. Important things can be “missed” unless daily routines are well established. Once established, a routine like daily oral hygiene becomes automatic, requiring minimal effort or thought.

This article will help you establish or refine the best way to care for your teeth, gums, and oral health at home. Montgomery Dental Care in Woodbury, MN, not only provides exceptional dental care for the whole family; we offer tips that everyone can benefit from.

Adults At-Home Oral Care

When did you last critique your oral hygiene routine?

Tooth decay, widely known as a cavity, is nearly 100% preventable. Establishing good oral hygiene helps prevent tooth decay and potential gum disease. Oral health can affect your smile, how and what you eat, your ability to talk, drink, and breathe, and your ability to digest food easily. With such a high impact on how you enjoy daily life, this routine matters a lot!

Adults At-Home Oral Care

When did you last critique your oral hygiene routine?

Tooth decay, widely known as a cavity, is nearly 100% preventable. Establishing good oral hygiene helps prevent tooth decay and potential gum disease. Oral health can affect your smile, how and what you eat, your ability to talk, drink, and breathe, and your ability to easily digest food. With such a high impact on how you enjoy daily life, this routine matters a lot!

Tips for Creating the Best Tooth and Gum Care Routine

  1. Pick a time to take care of your oral care. The first thing when you get up is best. You’ll start the day feeling clean and having fresh breath. For many people, it works well to establish this habit immediately after breakfast or coffee. For a busy mom, this may be after dropping your young one off at school. For early-to-the-office folks, you may want to beat the traffic and brush your teeth during your morning break. Then again, always clean your teeth after having dessert and before you go to bed. Do whatever time works for you to ensure it gets done.
  2. Put your toothbrush and dental floss, and rise where you can see them. If your bathroom space is minimal, forgo a fancy floral arrangement or design element if necessary. Or find a stylish case for essential daily oral care items so that you are mindful of them.
  3. Set a reminder. Once you have a regular time set for this routine, it may come naturally. If not, it is important enough to set an alarm. You can use your phone, your cooking timer, or whatever is handy that will sound an alert.
  4. Set achievable goals. If you can’t get to brushing, flossing, and rinsing twice a day, do brushing twice and flossing before bed. The better your care for your oral health, the less you’ll spend at the dentist over a lifetime.
  5. Reward yourself when you’ve got a routine down. That might be to have a professional photo shoot. Or buy yourself a new dress or sports coat. Or if your child never misses a brushing in a week, treat them to a special outing.
  6. Eliminate little snacks between meals and brushing times. This especially goes for sugary snacks that may start to break down your tooth enamel if this is a common habit. Or brush your teeth after each snack.
  7. Minimize acid “sitting” on your teeth. Oral hygiene care includes everything you put in your mouth. Healthy eating habits matter. Dental erosion occurs when the surface of your teeth is lost after touching acid, such as in lime or lemon juice. Excessive sugary or acidic beverages can take a toll – even when you’re not “eating.”

Now, let’s break down the steps for the best at-home oral care routine.

7 Steps for Adults to Establish a Great Oral Hygiene Routine

1. Establish a top-notch tooth brushing routine.

2. Floss your teeth as diligently as you brush.

3. Evaluate the best toothpaste to use.

4. Use a good mouth rinse.

5. Drink water before bedtime.

6. Maintain a healthy and nutritional diet

7. Maintain routine dental check-ups and professional cleanings.

Cosmetic dentistry improves a person’s looks; however, it starts with a clean bright smile.

1. Establish a top-notch tooth brushing routine

Brushing your teeth is the single most important task you can establish to maintain excellent oral health. If you follow proper toothbrushing techniques, you can keep food debris and acidic plaque from causing issues with your teeth. If this daily routine starts to lapse, plaque typically starts to accumulate. It causes your tooth enamel to demineralize, which over time may lead to cavities.

Toothbrushing tips:

  • Use fluoride toothpaste. Many residential homes need to get more fluoride in their water. A lack of fluoride leaves your teeth more vulnerable to tooth decay (cavities) [1]. Using a fluoride toothpaste is a simple preventive measure. It prevents decay by strengthening your teeth’s hard outer surface, called enamel.
  • Hold your toothbrush at the right angle. By angling the bristles of your toothbrush toward your gum line it will help clean between your gums and teeth.
  • Brush with the right pressure. Brushing gently using small, circular motions is best. You’ll want to avoid scrubbing hard with a back-and-forth motion. Not everyone is comfortable assessing this themselves. Your dental hygienist can assist.
  • Brush all sides of each tooth. This may not seem easy for your back teeth, but they are very important chewing teeth. Gently move your brush back and forth in short (tooth-wide) strokes. Take note that you brush the outer surfaces, inner surfaces, as well as the chewing surfaces of each tooth. You may need to tilt your brush vertically and make several up-and-down strokes to clean the inside surfaces of your front teeth.
  • Brush your tongue. While this may seem odd to some, it only takes a few seconds. People’s tongues have a rough surface that is covered with tiny crevices, making it easy for bacteria to hide.

2. Floss your Teeth as Diligently as you Brush

Brushing and flossing are both important for your dental health. Some say that if you have to choose one, flossing is more important if done correctly. Flossing aims to remove plaque from between teeth, which consists of active colonies of destructive bacteria.

Ideally, floss at least once a day. How often flossing is recommended may vary and include multiple times per day if you have overlapping teeth, gaps, or exposed gum areas. Being consistent with your flossing hygiene can matter more than frequency.

“For many adults, gum disease, often combining both hereditary and inadequate oral hygiene factors, is a significant problem. Insidiously developing over years, it is a leading cause of tooth loss. Accordingly, I stress the importance of cleaning between the teeth and below the gumline, particularly for at-risk individuals, where brushing alone may not be adequate. And at relatively low cost with little risk of causing harm, there’s really nothing to lose….. except maybe your teeth!” – McGill University [2]

At our Woodbury, MN dental office, we’ve seen the oral problems patients end up facing when food particles, plaque, and calculus remain lodged between someone’s teeth and under the gums. The simple habit of correctly flossing daily can save you unnecessary dental processes, pain, and money in the future.

3. Evaluate the Best Toothpaste to Use

Which toothpaste you use can make a difference. However, what matters most is simply sticking to a daily cleaning schedule. Regarding the type of toothbrush or toothpaste you choose, not all products are the same. Your dentist can offer you personal advice as they know what oral cleansing tools are best for you.

How often, what type of toothpaste, and/or what is the best toothbrush may vary. For example, if you already have erosively altered and softened tooth surface(s), we prefer giving advice on a more individual basis. Sometimes, toothpaste with intensive enamel repair properties may be recommended. We can also evaluate if your current brushing procedure is potentially adding harm due to aggressive brushing.

What ingredients are in a good toothpaste?

Choosing the best toothpaste can be overwhelming. Start by asking your dentist about toothpaste with the best relative dentin abrasion (RDA) value for you.

Common ingredients in better kinds of toothpaste::

  • Fluoride: This mineral is essential for strengthening enamel and preventing unnecessary cavities. Look for toothpaste approved by the American Dental Association (ADA).
  • Reducing Tooth Sensitivity: A toothpaste with potassium nitrate or stannous fluoride may help desensitize nerves and reduce discomfort.
  • Whitening Properties: When surface stains in your teeth are a concern, look for toothpaste with hydrated silica or baking soda. These ingredients help remove stains without being abrasive. Be aware that strong tooth whitening pastes may increase tooth sensitivity.
  • Tartar Control: Some toothpastes with ‘tarter control’ on the label tend to have a higher RDA. Dental calculus or tartar is a calcified deposit that forms on the teeth or other solid structures in the oral cavity. Your dentist will watch for this buildup if you have a dental restoration, prosthetic appliance, and/or dental implants. Calculus is a calcified dental plaque that can be classified as supragingival or subgingival calculus. [3]

The Relative Dentin Abrasivity (RDA) scale measures the abrasiveness of toothpaste

Here is how toothpastes are scored for abrasiveness:

  • 0–80: Low abrasion
  • 70–100: Midrange abrasion
  • 100–150: Highly abrasive.
  • 150–250: Harmful to teeth

Download the full Dentifrice-Assessment Protocol PDF from Kois Center.

4. Use a Good Mouth Rinse

Adults who take their oral health seriously not only ask about what toothbrush and toothpaste to use but also about the numerous options for mouth rinsing. Your dentist’s recommendations will be tailored to your personal needs.

How a good mouthwash protects your oral health:

  1. It can help reduce bad breath issues.
  2. May provide an antimicrobial effect to support gum health.
  3. Some mouth rinses are formulated to aid cavity prevention.
  4. Other mouth rinse types and sprays are designed to benefit individuals experiencing dry mouth.

The Feb 2024 National Institute of Health (NIH) Efficacy of flossing and mouth Rinsing Regimens on Plaque and Gingivitis study reports that “the alcohol-containing mouth rinse and non-alcohol containing mouth rinse reduced plaque by 30.8% and 18.2%, respectively, compared to brushing alone.” Author Bosma also explains how mouth rinsing is also a form of gingivitis prevention.

“The addition of EO non-alcohol containing mouth rinse to the manual toothbrushing and flossing regimen further reduces plaque, gingivitis, and bleeding, showing that addition of EO mouth rinses to the oral hygiene regimen provides sustained reductions in plaque to help maintain gingival health after dental prophylaxis. Dental professional recommendation of the addition of an EO non-alcohol containing mouth rinse to daily oral hygiene routines of brushing or brushing and flossing should be considered to aid supragingival plaque control and improve gingivitis prevention.” – Mary Lynn Bosma at NIH

5. Drink Water Before Bedtime

Water is a cleansing help for your teeth and gums. Simple swishing with water helps somewhat. Drinking only water before bed reduces your chances of tooth decay and gum disease. Water also aids in keeping your mouth moist. By preventing dry mouth, drinking water also helps prevent bacteria from growing rapidly.

After your evening brushing and oral cleansing, do not eat or drink anything other than water. The average adult’s saliva production levels decrease during sleep. For senior adult dental care, dry mouth can be more of an issue. Drinking water may seem to generate another trip to the restroom during the night, but when it comes to your oral health, it’s beneficial. Try taking your last drink an hour or two before you retire.

Low salvia and moisture levels in your mouth during the night leave teeth more vulnerable. Saliva naturally helps buffer the acid created by cavity-causing bacteria. Being sufficiently hydrated also helps clear toxins from your body.

6. Maintain a Healthy and Nutritional Diet

What you eat and drink influences the overall health of your oral cavity.

How poor dietary habits may hurt your oral health:

  • Encourage the onset of caries.
  • Hinder the development of tooth enamel.
  • Speed up the onset of dental erosion.
  • May contribute negatively to the state of periodontal health.
  • May contribute negatively to your oral mucous.

Dental caries commonly occur if your demineralization of tooth enamel exceeds your demineralization capacity. Developing tooth cavities is a dynamic process that involves susceptible tooth surfaces, cariogenic bacteria, mainly Streptococcus bacterium, and a fermentable carbohydrate source. Sucrose, a common dietary sugar, is considered the most potentially damaging carbohydrate. High simple sugar consumption increases your risk of dental caries.

Cavities in your teeth develop when the natural process of minerals leaving your teeth happens faster than they can be replaced. This leaves your teeth vulnerable. A mix of things causes cavities: a specific type of bacteria, the food those bacteria eat (sugars), and if teeth are prone to damage. This means that a healthy diet should be considered part of maintaining your daily oral health.

Consistently consuming healthy foods makes a difference. Foods that are sticky or high in carbohydrates, like most crackers and breads, are known to foster plaque development. You want to avoid them laying on your teeth for long or getting in the grooves of your teeth. Fibrous or crunchy fruits and vegetables like celery, carrots, or nuts are better if you need a nibble between meals. Cheese is also a healthy diet that contributes to a good diet and may benefit your teeth.

7. Maintain Routine Dental Check-ups and Professional Cleanings

Your recommended oral hygiene routine may change if you’ve had a blow to your dental palate, as you age, or if your medical condition changes. To maintain optimal oral health, this will be reviewed when you visit your dentist for your routine oral checkup and cleaning. Some people face a higher risk for tooth decay.

Medical conditions that may mean more frequent dental check-ups and professional cleaning:

  • Dry mouth because of medicines you take.
  • Diabetes.
  • A weakened immune system.
  • Oral cancer. We trust you already know not to smoke or use other tobacco products.

As a healthy adult, you can inspect your mouth at home between routine dental visits to assess any changes in the color, texture, or shape of your teeth and gum tissues. When something appears abnormal, do a quick check for symmetry on the opposite side of your mouth. If a notable difference is detected, call your dentist.

Most often, everything is normal; you may have a temporary canker sore or something stuck between your teeth. However, a quick call may relieve you of unnecessary worry. If in doubt, we are here for you. Your dentist can look at the edges of a canker sore (often red and angry-looking because the surrounding tissue is inflamed) and can rule out cancer signals.

Additional Question Answers to Common Adult Oral Health Routines

Questions are always welcome at our dental office. We are here to help you take charge of your at-home dental care.

How often should I use a new toothbrush?

Changing your toothbrush or electric brush head is easy when they have a “worn” indicator. Otherwise, we recommend tossing that old toothbrush every two to three months to be on the cautious side. Look for if the bristles begin to fray, become worn down, bent, to fray, become worn down, bent or broken. In addition, it’s best to change to a new toothbrush after recovering from an illness.

Where you store your toothbrush can also impact how long it remains useful. Keep it away from potential sprays of bacteria, like away from flushing toilets; closing the lid before you flush is a good deterrent. Check that your brush head avoids contact with other brushes another family member or guest may be using. Give your toothbrush open air so it properly dries out between uses to prevent bacterial growth.

Because a worn toothbrush is less effective in cleaning, the American Dental Association and Mayo Clinic suggest replacing your toothbrush at least every three to four months. [4]

Do I really need to brush my teeth twice a day?

This general rule is followed by most adults caring for their oral health. It has been proven effective in maintaining oral health in numerous studies. The best way to eliminate food impaction and to shorten the duration of sucrose impact on teeth twice is strongly recommended.

You may not be aware, but without proper daily care, a microbial world may exist between your teeth and just under your gums’ surface. If you wonder just how realistic this is, consider the following statement from our National Institute of Health.

“Your mouth is home to about 700 species of microbes. These include germs like bacteria, fungi, and more. Some microbes are helpful. Others can cause problems like tooth decay and gum disease. Troubles begin when microbes form a sticky, colorless film called plaque on your teeth.

Brushing and flossing help to keep your mouth clean. But after you brush and floss, germs grow again, and more plaque forms. That’s why you need to clean your mouth regularly.” – Mouth Microbes: The Helpful and the Harmful[5]

What are common barriers to good oral health?

  1. A lack of awareness about the importance of oral health. We hope this article helps overcome this barrier for those who read it. Please share it with someone you love or know who may benefit from reading this article.
  2. If a person has physical or mental barriers. We all likely know of a handicapped adult or senior in our family or neighborhood who lacks strength or other abilities that prevent them from managing their own oral care. Looking for one another can make the needed difference.
  3. Being embarrassed to ask for help. Someone who may have let their oral hygiene slide may only delay going for a dental cleaning because they don’t want to face a possible rebuke. Someone with financial constraints, limited dental insurance coverage, transportation issues, or language barriers may need a helping hand.
  4. Fear of going to the dentist. We all can have odd fears. Dr. Montgomery is a compassionate and understanding dentist. You will find positive guidance and encouragement at this dental office. A proactive approach to oral hygiene and going to the dentist for regular cleanings may eliminate those painful dental procedures you fear.

Over time, the twice-daily adult oral hygiene routine with the use of mouth rinses can significantly reduce plaque, gingivitis, and bleeding gums.

SUMMARY: Maintaining your Oral Hygiene is Worth It!

Good oral health helps you enjoy life. Applying the above daily techniques to your adult oral care may prevent gum disease, periodontal disease, or another condition that may lead to dental implants. By adopting a solid oral care routine, you may relax and simply visit us only for routine dental checkups and cleanings.

Call Montgomery Dental Care today and schedule your next dental appointment. 751-738-1880

Resources:

[1] State of Minnesota, “Drinking Water Fluoridation,” Sept 2023, https://www.health.state.mn.us/communities/environment/water/com/fluoride.html

[2] Mark Grossman DDS, “The Great Floss Debate,” Feb 2020, https://www.mcgill.ca/oss/article/health/great-floss-debate-or-when-science-and-common-sense-collide

[3] NIH Clinical Trials, “Comparative clinical efficacy of three toothpastes in the control of supragingival calculus formation,” Jan 2017, https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC5379843/ and May 2023,https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3058665/

[4] Cindy Zhou, D.M.D., M.S., “Adult health,” July 2023, https://www.mayoclinic.org/healthy-lifestyle/adult-health/expert-answers/brushing-your-teeth/faq-20058193

[5] U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, “Mouth Microbes: The Helpful and the Harmful,” May 2019, https://newsinhealth.nih.gov/2019/05/mouth-microbes