Good oral hygiene is essential to general health and quality of life, according to the World Health Organization, but taking care of a mouth full of bacteria presents an interesting challenge.

If you want to maximize healthy teeth and gums and minimize your chance of developing painful problems down the road, follow these tips and tricks for impeccable dental health. The following information was compiled from the Mayo Clinic and 123Dentist.


  • Brush your teeth twice a day for two minutes each time, spending about 30 seconds in each quadrant of your mouth.

  • Hold your toothbrush at a slight slant — about a 45-degree angle — aiming the bristles toward the area where your tooth meets your gum.

  • Be sure to brush all surfaces of your teeth.

  • Know when to replace your toothbrush, and keep other oral hygiene equipment clean.


  • Floss at least once a day with about 18 inches of dental floss, wrapping each end around your fingers and gently lowering it in between your teeth.

  • To avoid damaging your gums, be gentle and follow the curve of your teeth.

  • Use clean floss — as you move to the next tooth take the dirty floss with one finger and unwind the clean floss from the other.


  • Rinse your mouth with mouthwash containing fluoride after you brush and floss your teeth.

  • Swish a small amount of wash around in your mouth for about 30 to 40 seconds before spitting it out.

Tongue Cleaning

  • Clean as much of the tongue as you can without gagging and rinse your mouth.

  • If you’re using a toothbrush to clean your tongue, use a little toothpaste and brush in circular motions. You can also use floss or a tongue scraper to scrape it clean.

Dentist Visits

  • Visit your dentist regularly for checkups and cleanings.

  • During your next appointment, talk to your dentist and try to understand your personal oral needs.

Additional Tips

  • As long as you do a thorough job, it doesn't matter if you brush or floss first.

  • Eat a healthy, balanced diet low in sugar.

  • Avoid using toothpicks or other similar objects. They could injure your gums and let in bacteria.

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