Blog Feature Image - The Ideal Oral Hygiene Routine Revealed

We all want a great smile and the first step to a beautiful smile is a healthy mouth. Your oral hygiene routine is so important, and consistency is the key. Caring for your teeth is an essential part of a healthy lifestyle.

It begins with brushing and flossing, but there’s so much more you can do. If you’re interested in how to establish an oral hygiene routine, we have the answers.

Here are our tips for a healthy oral hygiene routine:

Brush Properly

Brush your teeth twice a day or more. Do this every day, no matter how busy you may be.

A quick swipe is better than nothing, but it’s not enough. Brush your teeth for at least two minutes. Aim for 30 seconds for each quadrant of your mouth.

For best results, brush at a 45-degree angle to the tooth’s surface and don’t forget your gums. Try to brush up and down on the front and back surfaces and back and forth on the flat tops. 

Brush all surfaces with a soft-bristled brush and fluoride toothpaste. If you wait until after breakfast to brush, try to wait about an hour after eating.

This is especially important if you’ve had something acidic like grapefruit or orange juice. 

Floss Every Day

It’s easy to put off flossing if you’re tired or in a hurry. But you shouldn’t skip this important step.

If you floss when you brush, floss first. Flossing loosens plaque and particles between your teeth. It helps make brushing more effective.

Use enough floss to have a clean section for each tooth. Use about a foot and a half of floss, wrapping it around your index fingers. 

Slip the floss gently between each tooth. Then continue to wind off a clean section as you move to the next tooth. 

Don’t forget to get in between your back teeth. Some people prefer to use hand-held “flossers.” You may need more than one to get the job done. These are handy for young children as well.

Use Mouthwash

After you’ve brushed and flossed, it’s time to rinse with mouthwash. There are many brands and flavors on the market. Choose a mouthwash you like so you’ll be more likely to use it.

A small capful is all you need. Swoosh for 30 seconds and spit out. Many people think mouthwash is for controlling bad breath. Although it helps keep your breath fresh, it does much more, including:

  • Reducing acids in the mouth
  • Helping re-mineralize the teeth
  • Removing debris between teeth and along the gum line

Flossing and using mouthwash along with regular brushing will help keep your mouth clean and healthy.

Drink Plenty of Water

Water is necessary for overall health and hydration. It plays an important role in oral health as well.

Water is sugar-free and helps keep your mouth clean by washing out residue and debris. 

Be sure to avoid sugary drinks as much as possible and drink plenty of water each day as part of your healthy dental hygiene routine.

Eat a Healthy Diet

The foods you choose play an important role in your health and wellness. This includes the health of your teeth and gums.

Be sure to get plenty of fiber in your diet. Crunchy fruits and vegetables are high in fiber and good for your jaws and teeth.

Foods that are sticky, acidic, sugary, and high in carbohydrates provide a breeding ground for bacteria. Limiting these foods and only eating them in moderation can help curb the chances of dental decay.

Healthy eating habits along with a healthy oral hygiene routine can help you have a healthier mouth and body.

Avoid Harmful Habits

Some habits can be harmful to your oral health. Clenching your jaw or grinding your teeth can lead to headaches, muscle pain, chipped teeth, or a sore jaw. These unconscious habits known as bruxism must be treated by a dentist.

Smoking is terrible for your health and your teeth. It can cause stained teeth and weakened gums. Even worse, smoking increases the risk of developing oral cancer and lung cancer.

Try to avoid biting your nails or using your teeth to open packages or bottles. You could chip a tooth or even cause gum damage with these harmful habits.

Although regular brushing is essential, avoid brushing your teeth aggressively. This can wear down the tooth’s enamel or lead to gum problems. Gentle brushing is best.

Get Regular Dental Checkups

You may try to take care of your teeth and follow all of these healthy practices. But you can’t be sure your mouth is healthy without regular dental checkups.

Ideally, you should visit your dentist twice a year. Your teeth need regular professional cleaning and the attention of dental professionals.

There are multiple reasons you shouldn’t skip your dental checkup. 

Oral Cancer Check

Your dentist will check your mouth for any signs of oral cancer. These signs include lesions, lumps, white spots, or discoloration of the mouth or gums.

Gum Disease

Over time, tartar and plaque can build up and lead to dental decay and infection. Seeing your dentist for regular cleanings can help you avoid the development of gum disease.


From time to time, your dentist may take x-rays to check for any issues below your teeth and gum line. This can detect issues such as impacted wisdom teeth, deep decay, and other dental problems.

Head, Neck, and Lymph Nodes

Your dentist may also check for abnormalities in your neck, jaw, and lymph nodes. These problems may be symptoms of other potential health problems. If necessary, your dentist may refer you to a doctor to have any issues addressed.

Establish the Best Oral Hygiene Routine

It may take some practice to establish a healthy oral hygiene routine. Regular brushing, flossing, and other healthy habits can help you enjoy long-term oral health.

Seeing your dentist twice a year can prevent minor issues from becoming serious ones. If you haven’t seen a dentist in a while, be sure to make an appointment right away.

If you’re looking for a dentist in the Webster Groves area, we’d love to take care of all your dental needs. Contact us today to schedule an appointment.

Healthy Teeth

The global teeth whitening market is expected to reach 9.6 billion by the year 2027.

Millions of people around the world are looking to reduce stains on teeth, and improve the appearance of their smile. But with so many products and devices on the market, it can be difficult to tell what is effective.

For any whitening or stain-removing method, the best bet is to first consult your dentist. They can weigh in on the most effective means of teeth-whitening, and advise you of products that might actually do more harm than good. 

But in addition to these products, there are simple methods you can implement into your daily routine that will help remove tough stains.

Keep reading for six easy steps to help reduce the appearance of stains on teeth.

#1. Improve Brushing Habits

One of the most simple yet effective measures you can’t take to remove stains on teeth is to improve your everyday brushing habits.

Important factors to consider when looking to remove stains on teeth include:

  • Using a toothbrush with soft yet sturdy bristles, replaced every three months
  • Brushing for two full minutes every time
  • Avoiding brushing too “hard” or in an improper pattern
  • Using a whitening toothpaste approved by the American Dental Association
  • Cleaning your entire mouth (tongue, cheeks, etc.)
  • Waiting at least one hour after a meal to brush
  • Flossing after brushing
  • Finishing with mouthwash

This should be a multi-step process, repeated at least twice a day.

#2. Cut Down on Staining Foods

There are various food and drinks we enjoy in our everyday life that can actually cause unsightly stains on teeth.

Sauces that are deeply-colored (soy, tomato, curry) can cause brown stains on teeth. Try incorporating more light-colored sauces to avoid these stains.

The same idea comes from fruits and berries that are dark in color—like blackberries, cherries, and pomegranates. As such, paler fruits are less likely to cause stains on teeth.

Beverages can be harmful to teeth, as well. One example is coffee and tea. Frequent drinkers may experience black stains on teeth. While it may be hard to cut the caffeine cravings, your teeth will thank you.

Another beverage that can stain teeth is wine. With its acidic nature and dark, rich color, it can also discolor teeth.

Surprisingly, even white wine can stain as well. Though it does not have the dark pigment to it that red wine does, it can still add off white stains on teeth.

This does not mean you have to remove the food and drinks you love completely from your diet.

Instead, try moderating consumption to avoid building up stains on teeth. When you do consume beverages likely to stain, try using a straw and swallowing quickly to keep the liquid away from teeth.

#3. Avoid Nicotine and Tobacco Products

While there are other health benefits to avoiding these products, preventing smoking stains on teeth is a major factor.

Particles in these products stick to tiny pores in the enamel of your teeth. With repeated use, these particles build up until they become stains on teeth.

So the more you use nicotine and tobacco products, the darker and harder to remove the stains become. Consider avoiding nicotine and other tobacco products to prevent building up yellow stains on teeth. 

#4. Try At-Home Whitening

There are simple at-home whitening remedies you can try to improve the appearance of stains on teeth.

There are a variety of whitening products on the market, at all price points. Though, spending large amounts of money is not necessary to improve stains on teeth. 

One of the most common and inexpensive methods is to brush a few times per week with a mixture of water and baking soda.

This method is simple, yet effective. But, beware of overusing baking soda—studies suggest it can cause damage to the enamel of teeth.

If you are looking for products to purchase, consider starting small. Whitening toothpaste and mouthwashes can go a long way in improving the look of teeth stains.

In particular, those containing hydrogen peroxide or sodium hypochlorite can be particularly effective.

From there, you may consider whitening strips or other at-home systems. Look out for those containing carbamide peroxide, which is proven to be effective in these gel forms.

#5. Stay on Top of Dental Work

It’s important to stay on top of dental work to prevent the look of faux dental pieces from declining.

Dental fillings, crowns, and bridges will start to lose their color as they wear down over the years. Plus, metal fillings can sometimes transfer their color onto the tooth itself with time.

It’s critical that you stay on top of dental maintenance to prevent this from happening. While replacing these items can be uncomfortable, it can go a long way in preventing stains on teeth.

#6. Talk to Your Dentist

Finally, one of the best things you can do to combat stains on teeth is to visit your dentist. They have access to tools and other resources not available to the general public.

They can scrape, blast, and clean away stains. They also may be able to bleach or use other topical solutions to reduce the appearance of stains. In addition to regular cleanings and maintenance, ask them about other whitening solutions.

With their skills and experience, your dentist can best advise you on your options for teeth whitening and stain removal. There may be at-home or in-office procedures they can recommend that you would otherwise not find at a drugstore.

On your next dental visit, ask about removing stains on teeth—they are the experts, after all.

Consult the Experts for Removing Stains on Teeth

After trying at-home tips to remove stains on teeth, you may be at a loss. There comes a point when turning to the experts is necessary.

In the Webster Groves, MO area—Webster Family Dental is your solution.

The team at Webster Family Dental cares about your family. We assess and prioritize each patient’s specific dental needs with only the highest level of care and technology.

This way, patients leave our office feeling confident and excited about their smiles. Contact us today for more information on removing stains on teeth, or to request an appointment.