Many adults have been brushing their teeth since learning to walk, but after a while, a dental hygiene routine can become a near-mindless habit. Excellent dental hygiene is not only important to keep your teeth looking clean and your breath fresh. It’s also incredibly important to prevent oral health issues from developing, which is a crucial part of your overall health and wellness.
To fight plaque, gum disease, and dental decay, it’s a good idea to revisit the way you brush and floss your teeth. Proper oral hygiene techniques can go a long way in disease prevention and can keep your pearly whites as bright and healthy as possible. Heed these tips for a better dental hygiene routine.
1. Set a Timer
If tooth brushing has become second nature, you may not be brushing your teeth for as long as is needed to properly clear debris and bacteria from the surfaces of your smile. The general recommendation is to brush for at least two minutes in the morning and two minutes at night, and you may find it helpful to set a timer to keep you on track.
2. Choose the Right Paste
From powerful whitening toothpaste to gentler, fluoride-free solutions, there are many toothpaste options to choose from for your smile. While we generally recommend toothpaste with fluoride, it’s wise to try a few different products until you find one that works for you and your teeth. If you need help determining the best option for you, our dental staff can provide recommendations based on your unique needs.
3. Select Your Brush Type
Vigorous brushing with a hard-bristled brush can do more harm than good in many cases. Always choose a toothbrush with softer, comfortable bristles to protect your gums and tooth enamel. An electric toothbrush with a smaller head can access hard-to-reach areas in the mouth and more powerfully scrub your teeth, but any toothbrush can do a good job with the right approach.
4. Use Proper Technique
After applying a pea-sized amount of toothpaste, brush your teeth at a 45-degree angle away from the gums using small circular and short side-to-side strokes. Brush the inside, outside, and chewing side of each tooth, taking special care to go slowly to avoid missing any spots in your mouth.
5. Brush All Areas
It’s especially important to make sure you brush any areas where food might get trapped or bacteria can accumulate in your mouth. This means paying attention to your outer gum line, the backsides of your molars, the inner surfaces of your teeth, and the inner gum line along each row of teeth. Make sure to brush at different angles along your teeth to clear all plaque and debris.
6. Remember the Soft Tissues
Because bacteria and food particles can accumulate in the soft tissues of your mouth, it’s important to floss to remove any particles stuck between your teeth that a toothbrush cannot reach.
Check your work by running your tongue along your teeth to see if they’re smooth and plaque-free. You can also take a look in the mirror to examine each row of teeth to look for any spots you may have missed in your routine.
You should also brush your tongue to keep it clear of any bacteria that can cause bad breath. Swishing some antimicrobial mouthwash in your mouth can help with this as well.
Smart, Professional Dental Cleanings.
In addition to daily brushing, it’s crucial to visit a dentist every six months to clear any hardened plaque, also known as tartar, that is impossible to remove on your own at home.
Contact Smart Dental to schedule a professional dental cleaning and discuss your daily dental hygiene routine to make sure you’re taking the right steps to care for your smile and keep it healthy for years to come.