Many of us can use a boost in our at-home oral hygiene routine, and perhaps some tips to keep us on track. Here, our Nepean dentists tell you how you can get the most out of your at-home dental care.
It's essential to attend professional dental cleanings regularly so your dentist can remove tartar that's built up on your teeth. While these appointments should not be replaced by only at-home care options, maintaining a thorough at-home care routine an help keep the tartar buildup between appointments to a minimum. Here are 5 tips for oral hygiene that can help you tae your at-home care routine to the next level.
1) Set a Timer
You've likely heard previously that it's important to brush your teeth twice a day for at least 2 minutes each time. Though many people try to estimate how long 2 minutes is while brushing their teeth, they often end up under brushing. By using a timer or stopwatch like the ones that can be found on most smartphones, you can make the difference in ensuring you brush for the proper amount of time.
Bonus tip: You might also consider trying 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) Think of Your Mouth as Having Four Quadrants While Brushing
One useful exercise that might help you to to visualize your teeth during brushing sessions is to divide your upper and lower jaws into four equal sections mentally: upper left, upper right, lower left and lower right.
While you brush, aim to spend about 30 seconds brushing the fronts, backs and biting surfaces of all the teeth in one quadrant before moving onto the next. This can help you give proper attention and care to all your teeth, and 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.
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 way 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 have trouble remembering to floss, start leaving your floss out in plain sight, somewhere you’re sure to see it. Ideally, keep it right next to your toothpaste and toothbrush. It might seem overly simple, but sometimes little changes like this can have a massive impact on your ability to develop new habits.
5) Regularly Replace Your Toothbrush
Your toothbrush is a hardworking tool, and it will begin to wear down pretty quickly. You should replace your toothbrush every three months at a minimum, but more frequently if it starts to show wear 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.