In today's post, our Collingwood dentists offer our patients 5 tips to help them improve their at-home oral hygiene routine. Often, our patients won't get the most out of their at-home dental care, so this post is to help them improve their oral hygiene.
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 all of that being said, keeping a comprehensive at-home dental care routine to limit the build of tartar between appointments. The following are 5 tips for oral hygiene that can help take your at-home care routine to the next level.
1) Use a Timer
It's very likely that you've heard before that it's important for you to brush your teeth twice each day for 2 minutes at a time at a minimum. Many people will try and go with what "feels" right when it comes to brushing their teeth, but this will rarely work when you're trying to get into the habit of brushing and many people end up not doing so for long enough.
Using a stopwatch or timer, like the one found in most smartphones, can be the difference-maker in ensuring you brush for the correct 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.
During your two minutes of brushing your teeth, aim to take about 30 seconds when brushing the fronts, backs and chewing surfaces of all of the teeth in one quadrant of your mouth before moving on to the next. This will help to ensure that you are giving each of your teeth the care that they need and not accidently neglecting certain parts of your smile.
3) Try Pulling Your Floss into a C-Shape
Flossing is a critically important aspect of good oral hygiene. To get the most out of your flossing, you generally don't want to only move the floss up and down between your teeth a few times.
For best results, one should pull the floss into a c-shape around a tooth, and gently move it up and down the sides. Then repeat the same steps on the other tooth by pulling your floss into a c-shape in the opposite direction. Think of the C as hugging the tooth being flossed, curving around its form.
This will help ensure that each tooth gets a careful cleaning.
4) Keep Your Floss in Plain Sight
If you tend to forget to floss after brushing your teeth, you’re letting bacteria and food particles linger in those tight areas. This can result in tooth decay and bad breath over time, so it really is important to try to remember.
If you find that you often have difficulty remembering to floss, start leaving it in plain sight where you're sure to see it when starting your oral hygiene routine. Ideally, keep it beside your toothbrush and toothpaste. While it might seem overly simple. sometimes small changes can make the world of difference.
5) Replace Your Toothbrush Regularly
Your toothbrush is a tool that you put through its paces and, as a result, will wear down quickly. You should replace your toothbrush every three months or so because of this. If your brush start showing signs of wear and tear sooner than that, replace it sooner.
To help you determine when to replace your toothbrush, take a good look at it. If the bristles are bent, frayed or flattened, it’s probably time to get a new toothbrush. Many toothbrushes have bristles that are blue in colour. The blue will start to fade over time, and when it’s about half gone you should replace your toothbrush.