What are some basic oral care tips?

Dr. Mehmet Oz, MD
Cardiology (Cardiovascular Disease)
Some basic oral care tips:
  • brush all surfaces of teeth for at least two minutes once in the morning and before bedtime
  • replace toothbrushes as soon as they become worn (many now have a color indicator signaling when it’s time for a new one)
  • floss between teeth and down along the gum line of each tooth
  • use a rubber-tipped gum stimulator or interdental cleaner daily
  • visit the dentist and get a full exam and professional cleaning by a dental hygienist two times a year or more depending on your propensity for periodontal disease
  • have your dentist measure the depth of your gum pockets and have periodic X-rays to determine the health of gums, teeth and bone
  • If you have dental anxiety, know that there are many new strategies that prevent the pain and quell anxiety prior to any oral procedures as well as specialized clinics for the super anxious.
  • avoid sticky foods and frequent snacking to decrease acid load
  • don’t smoke or chew tobacco (also increases risk or oral cancer)
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Anyone who cares about his or her oral health should follow two basic rules:
  • Brush your teeth at least twice a day with a toothpaste that contains fluoride.
  • Floss every day. It doesn't matter if you use waxed, unwaxed, or mint-flavored -- just be sure to floss regularly.
In addition, keep the following in mind:
  • Replace your toothbrush when the bristles fray or flatten, or at least every three or four months.
  • If you have trouble flossing, ask your dentist about using another type of interdental cleaner, such as brushes and picks.
  • Visit your dentist regularly for checkups and cleanings.
  • Ask your dentist about using mouth rinses and other oral care products.
You can practice good oral hygiene by scheduling regular dental visits and by always brushing your teeth twice a day with an ADA-accepted fluoride toothpaste, cleaning between your teeth once a day with floss or another interdental cleaner, replacing your toothbrush every three or four months and by eating a balanced diet and limiting between-meal snacks.
Brush and floss at least twice per day, in the morning and prior to going to sleep. Use interproximal cleaning devices, such as Soft Picks and an effective mouthwash.

Proper diet is also important for good general oral health, and will help with good oral care.

Good oral care is not necessarily complicated, and it can help prevent oral complications from developing.

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Important: This content reflects information from various individuals and organizations and may offer alternative or opposing points of view. It should not be used for medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. As always, you should consult with your healthcare provider about your specific health needs.