Getting back to the Basics of Dental Hygiene

Get the most out of your at-home routine by getting back to the basics of dental hygiene. 

Routines are part of our daily lives and it is easy to let your mind’s autopilot take over. However, when it comes to your smile, relying on muscle memory could be hindering your oral care. Follow these helpful tips to get the most out of your oral hygiene routine. 

Brush with The Proper Technique: Brushing your teeth may seem pretty straightforward, but it is estimated that about a third of the population does not brush correctly. Review these simple steps to ensure you are getting the most out of your 2 minutes.

  1. Begin at your gum line and brush at a 45-degree angle pointed upwards
  2. Move the brush back and forth in tooth sized strokes
  3. Dedicate 30 seconds to each quadrant of the mouth
  4. Brush your gums and tongue also to remove harmful bacteria

Brush for the Proper Amount of Time: It may be surprising to discover that most people don’t brush for enough time. On average people only brush their teeth for 45 seconds at a time: less than half the time you should be brushing for! You should brush your teeth for at least two minutes twice a day. Playing a two-minute song while you’re brushing your teeth is a fun way to guarantee you’re brushing for the right amount of time.

Keep Your Toothbrush Clean: Rinse off your toothbrush after brushing. Bacteria can collect on your toothbrush if it is not rinsed thoroughly after each use. Additionally, avoid using a toothbrush cover, these are an ideal place for bacteria to fester. Your toothbrush should be stored in an upright position and at least six feet away from a toilet. 

Toothbrushes Don’t Last Forever: It is easy to get caught up in life and then suddenly realize you have been using the same toothbrush for the better half of the year. Toothbrushes (or toothbrush heads for electric toothbrushes) are meant to be changed at least every four months. 

After you replace your toothbrush, write a note on the calendar three months later as a reminder to replace it.  Additionally, after you get over an illness, automatically replace the toothbrush to avoid reinfection. 

Floss the Correct Way: Flossing may feel tedious at times but it is vital to keeping your teeth healthy. Even if you brush your teeth perfectly, failing to floss can leave 40% of teeth surfaces uncleaned. Follow these tips to keep your entire smile clean and healthy:

  • Use about 18 inches of floss.
  • Wrap the floss around your middle fingers for the best control.
  • Hold the floss tightly between the thumb and index finger and slide the floss between your teeth.
  • Make sure you are getting beneath the gum line on both sides of each tooth.
  • Use a clean section of floss for each tooth to avoid putting bacteria back on the teeth.

Follow with Mouthwash: Mouthwash has a variety of benefits to help you maintain optimal oral health. It freshens breath, reduces plaque and gingivitis, soothes dry mouth, and gets rid of food particles you might have missed brushing and flossing. Some mouthwashes even have added fluoride to strengthen teeth.

Overall, your oral care routine shouldn’t take more than 10 minutes a day. This small dedication every day is worth it to help your smile last a lifetime.