Our Etobicoke dentists offer 5 tips for improving your at-home oral hygiene routine in today's post. Our patients frequently do not get the most out of their at-home dental care, so this post is here to help.
Professional dental cleanings are important for removing built-up tartar on your teeth, and should not be replaced by only at-home care options. With that said, keeping a thorough at-home care regimen can help limit the build of that tartar between appointments significantly. These 5 tips for oral hygiene below can help take your at-home care routine to the next level.
1) Use a Timer
You've probably heard that it's important to brush your teeth twice a day for at least 2 minutes each time. Many people brush their teeth for less than 2 minutes because they try to guess how long it takes. Using a stopwatch or timer, such as those found in most smartphones, can make all the difference in ensuring you brush for the appropriate amount of time.
Bonus tip: You can also try an electric toothbrush. Particularly useful are electric toothbrushes that have built-in timers and buzz or vibrate after they’ve been running for two minutes.
2) When Brushing, Think of Your Mouth as Having Four Quadrants.
A useful exercise for visualizing your teeth during brushing is to divide your upper and lower jaws into four equal sections mentally: upper left, upper right, lower left, and lower right.
Brush the fronts, backs, and chewing surfaces of all the teeth in one quadrant for about 30 seconds before moving on to the next during your two minutes of brushing. This ensures that you are treating all of your teeth equally and are not accidentally neglecting some teeth in favour of others.
3) Try Pulling Your Floss into a C-Shape
Flossing is an important aspect of good oral hygiene. To get the most out of your flossing, you generally don’t want to just saw the floss up and down between your teeth a couple of times.
To achieve the best results, wrap the floss around a tooth in a c-shape and gently move it up and down the sides. Then, on the opposite tooth, repeat the procedure by pulling your floss into a c-shape in the opposite direction. Consider the C to be hugging the tooth being flossed, curving around its shape.
This will help ensure that each tooth gets a careful cleaning.
4) Keep Your Floss in Plain Sight
If you don't floss after brushing your teeth, bacteria and food particles can linger in those small crevices. This can lead to tooth decay and bad breath over time, so it's critical to try to remember.
If you have trouble remembering to floss, place your floss in a highly visible location. Keep it near your toothpaste and toothbrush, if possible. It may appear overly simple, but small changes like this can have a big impact on your ability to form new habits.
5) Replace Your Toothbrush Regularly
Your toothbrush is a hardworking tool that will begin to wear down quickly. Replace your toothbrush at least every three months, but more frequently if it begins to show signs of wear sooner.
Take a good look at your toothbrush to see when it's time to replace it. If the bristles are bent, frayed, or flattened, it's time to replace your toothbrush. The bristles of many toothbrushes are blue. The blue will fade over time, and you should replace your toothbrush when it's about half gone.