By Kelly Nathan, University Health Center registered dental hygienist
We all want a great smile, and oral hygiene is the key. It plays an important role in not only protecting your mouth from tooth stains and decay, gum disease and other oral health issues, but also preventing heart disease, bone lose, strokes and more.
In celebration of World Oral Health Day 2017, we’ve compiled these tips to help you protect your smile:
- Brush with the proper technique. Your toothbrush should be at a 45-degree angle against your teeth. Brush gently in a circular motion. Be sure to get all sides of your teeth and tongue. Do this twice a day for at least two minutes each time with a soft-bristled toothbrush. Check out this video by the American Dental Association for more information.
- Change your toothbrush once every three months or when the bristles go out of shape.
- Don’t forget to floss. There are some areas where your brush can’t reach. This is where flossing can help. Floss gently by guiding floss between teeth, then curve it to make a “C” shape and wipe up and down each side of the tooth. Do this once a day. For more information, check out this how-to video.
- Quit using tobacco products. This will reduce your chances of gum disease, tooth staining and tooth loss. If you need help quitting, stop by the University Health Center for a free tobacco cessation kit.
- Stay hydrated to avoid plaque accumulation and gum disease.
- Schedule a dental checkup at least once a year. University of Nebraska-Lincoln students, faculty or staff members and their dependents over age 16 are eligible to use the University Health Center Dental Clinic. Call 402.472.7495 to schedule an appointment.
- If you have a toothache or notice other dental symptoms, make an appointment with a dentist immediately. He or she can diagnose the underlying cause before it turns into a greater issue.