Dental hygiene is a key part of your daily routine. Not only does it keep your teeth and gums healthy, but it helps protect your entire body from a number of illnesses. Your oral health is linked to heart health, respiratory health, and most other aspects of your overall health. Many viruses and bacteria can enter your body through your mouth. To maintain a healthy smile and reduce your risk of health complications, be sure to take good care of your teeth. Here are five dental hygiene tips for a more thorough clean:
1. Brush twice per day for two minutes.
While most people know that they should brush their teeth in the morning and evening, brushing for the right amount of time is more challenging. Two minutes can feel like a long time, but it’s necessary to remove plaque and food particles around your teeth and tongue. You could listen to a song while you brush to pass the time, or you could set a timer on your phone to tell you when to stop.
2. Use the correct brush and brushing technique.
One of the most common dental hygiene errors is brushing too aggressively. You may be tempted to scrub your teeth to loosen up the plaque, but brushing too hard can cause your gums and enamel to wear away. An electric toothbrush, especially the Sonicare brush, is what we recommend because it can remove plaque much more effectively and efficiently than an manual brush. However, if you choose to use a manual brush, use a soft-bristled brush to help protect your teeth, and hold the toothbrush at a 45 degree angle to your gumline. Use circular motions instead of scrubbing back and forth.
You can keep an eye on your toothbrush to see whether or not you’re brushing too hard. If the bristles on your toothbrush become flared or splayed out over time, it’s a sign that you should be brushing more gently. Try holding your toothbrush with just your index finger and thumb instead of with your entire hand, or brush with your non-dominant hand for gentler pressure.
3. Keep your toothbrush clean.
Even if you have the perfect brushing technique, your dental hygiene could suffer if your toothbrush is old or dirty. Each time you use your toothbrush, rinse it thoroughly with water and let it air dry. Storing the toothbrush vertically will help it dry faster.
You should replace your toothbrush every three months, regardless if it is a manual or electric toothbrush. Over time, toothbrushes tend to become less effective, and they can be home to bacteria. Get a new brush after being sick, too, as the germs from your illness may still be present on the bristles.
4. Floss carefully.
Just like brushing, flossing requires the correct technique. To floss properly, use about 18 inches of dental floss, and wind it around your middle fingers. Leave an inch or two of floss between your fingers, and hold this section tightly with your thumb and index finger.
Then, use a zig-zag motion to insert the floss between your teeth. Wrap the floss in a C shape around each tooth to remove food particles and plaque from the entire gumline. Make sure to floss the back of your teeth, too.
5. Clean your tongue.
Many people neglect their tongue when brushing, but cleaning your tongue is just as important as cleaning your teeth. Bacteria and food debris can easily settle on your tongue, so you should scrub it with your toothbrush to keep your mouth clean.
You could also use a tongue scraper to remove bacteria from your mouth. This may feel more effective than using your toothbrush, and it can freshen your breath and improve the taste in your mouth.
Good oral hygiene protects your teeth, improves your smile, and promotes your overall health and well-being. Follow these dental hygiene tips every day to ensure your mouth is as clean as possible. Even the most thorough oral hygiene routine only takes a few minutes, so incorporating these habits is well worth the effort.