Practicing healthy dental care should be a part of your everyday routine. From brushing and flossing daily and visiting your dentist annually to paying attention to your diet and medications, the steps you take now can help ensure that your teeth last you a lifetime.
Best Practices for Brushing and Flossing
To start, it’s important to brush your teeth thoroughly each morning and night using a soft-bristled toothbrush and fluoride toothpaste. An electric toothbrush can reduce plaque and the occurrence of gingivitis (mild gum disease) better than manual brushing. Plus, these devices often include a timer, ensuring that you brush for a full two minutes to completely clean your teeth.
To practice good technique, hold your toothbrush at a slight angle, aiming the bristles where your teeth and gums meet. Use circular, back-and-forth motions over every surface (outside, inside, and top) of each tooth. Be sure to clean your tongue too. Avoid brushing directly after eating or drinking, especially if you’ve had something acidic like grapefruit or soda.
Make sure you rinse your toothbrush after each use. Store it in an upright position and allow it to air-dry in between uses. Do not cover the bristles or store your toothbrush in a closed area, as this type of storage may lead to the growth of bacteria, mold, and yeast. You should replace your toothbrush every three months or as soon as the bristles become irregular.
Additionally, you need to floss daily to remove the dental plaque that builds up in between your teeth. Using about 18 inches of dental floss, guide it between your teeth in a rubbing motion. Make a c shape each time you reach your gum line to fully scrape against the surface of the tooth. Unwind fresh floss from your fingers as you progress through your mouth. Other options for flossing include a dental pick, pre-threaded flosser, or a water flosser.
Other Tips for Good Dental Care
Here are seven other tips to help you maintain good oral health:
- Visit your dentist at least once a year for a professional cleaning and check-up. An appointment every six months is even better for your dental care! Be sure to see your provider immediately if you have sudden changes in taste and/or smell.
- Drink fluoridated water.
- Limit alcoholic drinks.
- Do not use any tobacco products.
- If you have diabetes, focus on controlling the diabetes in order to decrease your risk of complications, including gum disease. If you develop gum disease, proper treatment may help lower your blood sugar level.
- Some medication gives you dry mouth. If possible, try to switch to a different option. Otherwise, drink water, chew sugarless gum, and avoid alcohol and tobacco products.
- To further improve your smile, consider professional teeth whitening at Maitland Ave. Smile Co.! Our dental team can work with you to determine the best approach to meet your goals.
Schedule an appointment at Maitland Ave. Smile Co. today!
Check out our Dental Blog to learn more about topics like pediatric dentistry, dental anxiety, and the impact of stress on oral health.