1. Brush twice a day.
Brush your teeth at least twice a day for two minutes each time. Ideally, you should brush when you wake up each morning and before you go to bed each night.
2. Floss once a day.
Flossing removes debris from between your teeth that your toothbrush can't reach. Flossing your teeth every night minimizes the risk of tooth decay between your teeth, and keeps your gums healthy.
3. Visit the dentist regularly.
You should plan to visit your dentist for a hygiene cleaning and oral exams at least twice a year, every six months. These appointments give your teeth a professional deep cleaning and allow your dentist to identify and treat any issues that may be developing.
4. Eat a healthy diet.
Eating healthy is good for your whole body, including your teeth. A diet that's high in calcium and low in sugar will help keep your teeth healthy and strong. Foods that are beneficial for your oral health include leafy greens, carrots, apples, almonds, yogurt, and cheese.
5. Cut down (way down) on sugary drinks.
Drinking sugary beverages, like pop, on a regular basis can increase your risk of cavities. Instead, drink mostly water or milk, and try leaving sugary drinks for occasional treats.
6. Stay hydrated.
Drinking plenty of water can help prevent cavities. By keeping hydrated, you will maintain a flow of saliva which washes away food particles that collect on your teeth. These particles allow bacteria to grow.
7. Add mouthwash to your routine.
Rinsing with mouthwash is a good addition to your daily brushing and flossing routine. It can help to kill bacteria in your mouth that can cause issues like cavities and gum disease.
8. Replace your toothbrush regularly.
You should change your toothbrush at least once every six months. You may consider replacing it sooner if the bristles have become stiff, or if you have recently fought off a cough or flu.
9. Don’t smoke.
One of the best things you can do for your oral health is to quit smoking. Not only does it stain your teeth, it also increases the risk of oral cancer and gum disease.
10. Examine your mouth at home.
Try to examine the inside of your mouth regularly. If you notice anything that looks out of the ordinary such as lumps, bumps, or unhealed sores, make an appointment to get it checked by your dentist.