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How to maintain good oral health

22 April 2024

Find out why you need to improve your oral health and the top 7 ways you can do this with our blog from Marlborough Dental Studio.

Almost everyone is looking to protect their health nowadays – the benefits are clear and the costs of not doing so are widely discussed. 

But dental or oral health can often slip through the net, especially when 53% of people in the UK suffer from fear or anxiety when visiting the dentist. 

So, why should you keep on top of your oral health and how do you do it? 

What is meant by the term oral health?

Sometimes referred to as oral hygiene or dental health, maintaining your oral health means keeping your teeth, mouth, tongue, and gums healthy, strong, and free from disease. 

Side effects of poor dental hygiene 

A lack of this preventative care can result in poor dental hygiene and the development of common oral health problems, including: 

Surprisingly, while commonly considered in isolation, oral hygiene is also strongly linked to whole-body health, meaning that laxity in your dental health routines can affect much more than the shade of your teeth. 

This can include very serious conditions, such as:

The simplest and easiest way to avoid damage to the structures of the mouth or the body is to keep on top of your dental hygiene – which can take as little as 5-10 minutes per day. 

Is there anything you can do to keep your mouth healthy?

There are many tips and tricks you can use to keep your dental health in check, the easiest of which is a good daily dental hygiene routine, which includes: 

However, there are also other tips, such as:

How to maintain your oral hygiene

While most people have been doing it for years, recent studies and improved technology may have brought about tweaks to brushing, flossing and using a mouthwash – so it’s worth reading on, even if your teeth appear in good condition.  


Brushing should occur at least twice per day, with a soft-bristled brush (to reduce damage to the gums and tooth enamel) and a fluoride toothpaste – which helps to strengthen enamel and reduces bacterial acid. 

During brushing, angle the brush at 45º to where the gums and teeth meet to help dislodge plaque and bacteria at the gumline and ensure you brush up and down gently in a circular motion. 

It is a common misconception that brushing hard cleans the teeth better – all this actually does is help the teeth to recede. 

You should make sure you clean the entire surface of the tooth, paying special attention to the backs and sides, as they are commonly forgotten, and be sure to take the full 2 minutes to do a thorough job. 

Finally, try not to rinse the mouth once brushing is complete, with water or mouthwash, as it can remove the protective leftover fluoride on the teeth and be sure to replace your toothbrush or brush head every 3 months. 

Flossing to maintain oral health


Flossing is essential to remove debris and plaque between the teeth that brushing can’t reach – so you should floss at least once daily to keep the gaps between teeth clean and clear. 

You can use a variety of flossers, including:

so that the plaque never hardens into tartar. 

Are water flossers as good as flossing?

Thanks to technological advances in the oral health market, many patients are now comparing a waterpik/water floss vs flossing. 

While it can be especially helpful for those with dexterity issues, braces, or very sensitive gums, and remove food particles without issue, a water flosser can’t scrape away the plaque found between teeth – which can lead to gum disease further down the line. 

As such, use traditional floss tape or interdental brushes as well as a water flosser if you want to maintain optimal oral hygiene. 

Cleaning the tongue

If you suffer from bad breath or often have a white tongue, it can be beneficial to clean the tongue itself while you brush your teeth or with a tongue scraper to remove bacteria from the surface. 

This can greatly affect the efficacy of your oral hygiene, helping to remove the build-up that causes the white tongue and the smell that can accompany it. 

Tongue cleaner – how to use them properly

If you are planning on investing in a tongue cleaner or scraper, they will be more effective if used correctly. 

  1. Open your mouth and stick out the tongue as far as you can comfortably. 
  2. Position the scraper as far back as possible and using gentle pressure, use the handle of the scraper to pull it to the front of the tongue in one smooth motion. 
  3. Rinse the tongue scraper under running water. 
  4. Repeat the process 3-4 more times. 

This will prevent an unsightly white tongue, reduce the bacteria found on the tongue, and keep the breathe fresh for longer.

Mouthwash for oral health

Using a mouthwash

Mouthwash is a common sight in the oral hygiene aisle and is a natural next step during oral hygiene routines. 

However, while fluoride mouthwashes can help to prevent decay, if used at the wrong time, it can wash away the concentrated fluoride in your toothpaste. 

As such, it is encouraged to use mouthwash after you have eaten lunch, instead of after brushing and flossing. 

Stopping smoking

By now, we are well aware of the dangers of smoking and the harm that can occur to the body after just one cigarette. 

But did you know it can affect your oral health too? Smoking brings increased risks of:

As such, stopping smoking can be an excellent way to improve your oral and overall health, even though it can be challenging.

Eating healthy for oral health

Eating well

Just as a varied diet of whole, unprocessed foods is good for the body, it is also excellent for the teeth and soft tissues of the mouth. 

The following foods will give you the vitamins and minerals you need to keep the teeth and gums in good condition and can also help to clean the teeth as you chew and bite: 

Increasing your consumption of these foods and limiting ultra-processed and very sugary snacks also limit the amount of sugar on the teeth – helping to keep them plaque-free. 

Seeing a dentist and hygienist regularly

The easiest way to maintain your dental hygiene is to schedule appointments with your dentist and dental hygienist regularly – around every 6 months. 

This allows for professional deep-cleaning and stops any problems or diseases from occurring, as your dentist can take a closer look at your teeth, including the bags which you can’t normally see. 

To improve your oral health, contact the professionals at Marlborough Dental Studio

Whether you are looking for a new family dentist in Marlborough or want to improve your struggling dental hygiene, the friendly and expert team at Marlborough Dental Studio can help. 

With in-house dental hygienists, Bridget and Nicola, we can offer professional cleaning for all of our patients, giving you a great starting point for getting on top of your oral health. 

To contact us for an appointment, you can call us on 01672 516184 or email us at [email protected] and we’ll be in touch as soon as we can.