Did you know that you can have a great routine when it comes to dental hygiene, and still develop dental problems over time? Even the most diligent person can have some gaps in the way we care for our teeth and gums. This can be due to bad habits that develop over time, or just improper training. Want a refresher course on dental hygiene? Here are some tips to help you keep a dazzling smile for years to come.
The Two-Minute Rule
Many people brush their teeth twice a day, every single day, but fail to brush their teeth for a long enough duration. This is an easy mistake to make if you’re trying to rush out the door in the morning. You must brush your teeth for at least two minutes. Time yourself with your wristwatch, use an app on your phone, or come up with some other way to ensure that you’re brushing long enough to do an effective job.
Use the Correct Brush Size
Small toothbrushes are the ones children use for their smaller teeth, and those big toothbrushes you see at the store are for adults, right? This makes logical sense, but it’s wrong. Most adults actually need a small- to medium-sized toothbrush. You should use a brush that has a small enough head and bristles to brush in the gaps between the teeth. If you use a brush that is too big, you end up missing a lot of food debris in the tiny crevices where your teeth need to be brushed the most.
Floss the Correct Way
A really popular dental tool is those little tiny pieces of floss that are attached to a plastic pick. Those are great if you plan on using one tool per tooth and then throwing them away. Using the same tiny piece of floss over and over again, however, can pick up bacteria from one part of your mouth and insert it in between all of your teeth. Use a traditional piece of floss instead. An 18-inch piece of floss allows you to floss between teeth with a fresh, uninfected section of floss every time.
Clean Your Brush
Those plastic toothbrush capsules that you can store your brush in are another popular product in the stores. The idea is that you put your toothbrush in the capsule, so it will stay clean and free from germs. The problem is that your toothbrush is going in your mouth — which is full of bacteria. Storing your toothbrush in a plastic capsule simply turns it into a bacteria-laden swamp. It actually makes it much less clean! Rinse your brush with water after brushing your teeth, and then simply let it air dry. This is the best way to keep your brush clean.
Scrape Your Tongue
Have you ever noticed those ridges on the head of your toothbrush, on the opposite side of the bristles? The ridges are there for a reason: Scrape your tongue with them. This should be a part of your brushing routine every day. Scraping your tongue will clear a lot of bacteria out of your mouth, which will keep your teeth healthier. It also freshens your breath.
Lose the Midnight Snacks
You’ve been truly disciplined in brushing your teeth correctly every night before bed. What’s a little midnight snack going to hurt? Your teeth, obviously! Either avoid eating those “midnight snacks” after you’ve brushed your teeth before bed, or brush your teeth once again after the snack. Bacteria love to attach to those food particles while you’re sleeping, so they can build up and give you cavities over time.
Those are a few dental hygiene tips to help ensure that you’re brushing properly every time. Those checkups with the dentist are also really important for spotting problems with your teeth early. If it’s been a while since your last visit, contact Corson Dentistry today to schedule an appointment for a teeth cleaning and checkup.