What Is the Best Way to Take Care of My Teeth?

It’s no secret that your dental hygiene regime is the foundation for healthy teeth and gums. When you have a sound system in place and follow it consistently, you’ll reduce the risk of tooth decay and gum disease while enjoying a healthy, clean smile. Here we offer tips on the best way to take care of your teeth to optimize your dental health.

Always Brush Your Teeth

You probably know you’re supposed to brush your teeth twice a day. Even on the sleepiest of evenings when you can’t wait to lay your head on your pillow, brushing your teeth is a must. It can be easy to skip this step, but it is the best way to get rid of the germs and plaque that build up on your teeth all day long.

Use Proper Brushing Technique to Take Care of Your Teeth

If you don’t know how to brush your teeth properly, you won’t see the benefits. According to the American Dental Association, the proper technique to brush your teeth is to:

  1. Place your toothbrush at a 45-degree angle to the gums. 
  2. Gently move the brush back and forth in short (tooth-wide) strokes. 
  3. Brush the outer surfaces, the inner surfaces, and the chewing surfaces of the teeth.
  4. To clean the inside surfaces of the front teeth, tilt the brush vertically and make several up-and-down strokes.

Ensure you brush the area next to the gums, as that’s where plaque builds up the most. Take care to brush well, else you’ll leave behind plaque that can harden and increase the risk for tooth decay and gum diseases. Remind yourself to not brush too hard!  And, just remember that if you feel you’re struggling to get the hang of it, check with your Lakewood dentist and we’ll offer some tips to help improve your brushing method.

Brush Your Tongue

Be sure to brush your tongue when brushing your teeth. There is plaque on your tongue that can cause issues, including bad breath. Some toothbrushes actually have a rough back designed for tongue brushing. However, you can also gently brush your tongue with the bristles.

Use Toothpaste

While you might find yourself drawn to not using toothpaste, or a natural toothpaste, try to get a toothpaste that contains hydroxyapatite or fluoride, depending on your decay rate!  If you have questions about which of these is right for you, ask us!  These substances act as an agent to reduce your teeth’s demineralization process. They helps the enamel stay strong and resist breaking down. However, there are a lot of natural toothpastes that don’t contain hydroxyapatite or fluoride out there. If you’re at a loss for which to pick, look for the ADA seal of acceptance to ensure you’re getting the best toothpaste for your teeth, or ask your dentist!

Don’t Forget to Floss

Flossing is another step many people avoid, but it is just as important as brushing. Your toothbrush can’t reach between your teeth, so flossing is a must to remove debris. It also stimulates your gums and keeps them healthy while reducing plaque buildup. Flossing just once a day will greatly improve your oral health regime and help you take care of your teeth. If you find it difficult to floss because it is awkward, painful, or you have a sensitive gag reflex, you can use a flossing tool instead of floss. They come in a number of varieties making it easy to find a solution to suit your needs. You can also ask your Lakewood, CO dentist for a recommendation or for tips on how to floss properly.

Breathe Through Your Nose

You may not have heard this tip before, but breathing through your nose is a MAJOR way to prevent tooth decay!  When we breathe through our nose, we warm and humidify the air we are breathing, as well as disinfect it.  When we breathe through our mouths, we dehydrate our mouths, lead to more plaque buildup, and change the acidity of the mouth.  If you can’t breathe through your nose, that is a red flag that there is something going on with your breathing patterns, jaw structure, or nasal structure.  Not being able to breathe through your nose warrants further evaluation, not just for your teeth health, but for your whole body health!  Sometimes this is as simple as strengthening the muscles of the lips and tongue. This is called myofunctional therapy, and we see many health improvements by using it!

Drink Lots of Water

Keeping your mouth moist helps wash away debris, sugars, and acidic foods between brushings. Water has many health benefits and should always be the drink of choice throughout the day.

See Your Dentist Twice a Year

Last but not least, to take care of your teeth, be sure to visit your dental clinic in Lakewood, CO twice a year, or as recommended for your specific needs. This will help your dentist keep an eye on your dental health while also providing professional cleanings to remove plaque. Also, your dental health is part of maintaining your overall health so it shouldn’t be neglected.

Schedule your next appointment with Dr. Elizabeth Turner here and she’ll get to know you and evaluate your unique needs.


Interested in learning more about general dentistry services? Visit this page here.

About the Author

Dr. Elizabeth Turner is a whole-health, family dentist in Lakewood, CO who provides general, restorative, and cosmetic dental care. She focuses on the mouth-body connection and helps her patients smile confidently, breathe clearer, and live healthier lives. 

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