While most of us strive to maintain a healthy home dental care routine, we can all fall into bad habits like taking shortcuts when it comes to brushing and flossing.
It is always good to refresh our knowledge of ideal oral hygiene practices, such as:
The American Dental Association recommends holding your toothbrush at a 45-degree angle to your gums while you use short back and forth strokes across the front and top surfaces of your teeth.
For the backs of teeth, hold the brush vertically and use shorter strokes with a special focus behind anterior (front) teeth where plaque builds up often. Brush for two minutes to ensure proper coverage and cleaning. Make sure to brush your tongue to remove oral bacteria there, or use a special tongue scraper.
Using the Right Toothbrush
Choose a toothbrush whose head and bristles are small enough to navigate the hard to reach areas, including the crevices of your molars, where food debris often remains. Look for the ADA seal on both your toothpaste and toothbrush.
Keeping your Toothbrush Clean
Rinse your toothbrush with hot water after use and allow it to air dry. This is especially important for those with periodontal disease as oral bacteria may be released into the bloodstream where it can affect other parts of your body. You should also change your toothbrush every three months both for cleanliness and to make sure the bristles are effective.
There is a technique to proper flossing. Use a piece of floss up to 18 inches in length, using a fresh area of floss for every tooth. The floss should rub against the teeth in a motion that creates a forward or backward 'C' shape, wrapping the floss around each tooth. For those who find flossing difficult, interdental brushes are a great alternative.
Using a Mouthwash or Rinse
Mouthwashes and dental rinses reach into crevices that are especially vulnerable and help combat the effects of accumulating decay-causing bacteria. There are a variety of rinses available to meet the needs of individuals with unique dental issues. Be sure to look for the ADA seal on these products as well.
Make Healthy Choices
When it comes to snacking, be mindful of the effect your choice is having on the health of your smile. Brush, or at least rinse your mouth with water, after eating sweets. When drinking acidic beverages, rinse immediately and then brush after 30 minutes. This prevents any acid-worn enamel from being washed away by being brushed too soon.
Proper oral hygiene should be a consistent part your daily routine. By following these dental tips, you can ensure you're doing your best to keep your mouth healthy.
If you want to do more to maintain your smile’s appeal and function, call the Poughkeepsie dental office of Manisha Bhalla today!