Everyone knows that it’s important to stay on top of dental hygiene. All your life, you’ve been told it’s crucial to brush and floss every single day. Doing so is key to avoiding tooth loss. While an oral surgeon can typically help if you lose a tooth, you’re obviously much better off taking steps to avoid this in the first place.
That’s not to say simply brushing and flossing is going to be effective. You have to do more than practice good dental hygiene habits. You need to make sure you’re practicing them correctly. Many people don’t realize they’re making certain mistakes when caring for their teeth. In other instances, people simply aren’t thorough enough when practicing dental hygiene.
Don’t let that happen to you. To make sure you’re doing everything you can to maintain strong oral health, your oral surgeon recommends keeping the following tips in mind.
1. Listen to Your Favorite Song When Brushing Your Teeth
Brushing your teeth is essential. That’s because it prevents bacteria from building up on your teeth and gums. If you didn’t brush regularly, that bacteria would eat away at your oral tissues. This could lead to everything from cavities to tooth loss.
That said, brushing for a few seconds won’t do much to improve your oral health. The ADA actually recommends brushing twice a day for at least two minutes.
Playing your favorite song while brushing your teeth is an easy way to make sure you’re brushing long enough. When the song is over, you’re done. You can even simply “hum” in your head while brushing.
2. Don’t Brush Too Hard
Don’t make the common, understandable mistake of assuming you need to brush very hard to clean your teeth and gums as thoroughly as possible. This is actually bad for your oral health.
Exerting that much pressure on a regular basis can be particularly damaging to your gums. Instead, focus on applying steady, gentle pressure when brushing your teeth.
3. Replace Your Toothbrush Regularly
Although it may still look relatively intact, an old toothbrush loses its ability to properly clean your teeth. That’s why the ADA recommends replacing your toothbrush every three to four months. However, if the bristles become frayed before then, it’s time to get a replacement.
4. Store Your Toothbrush Properly
The manner in which you store your toothbrush can have a significant impact on your oral health. It’s important to thoroughly rinse your toothbrush with water after every use. Store it an upright position, in a spot where it will be able to air dry.
5. Take a Video of Yourself Brushing Your Teeth
This may seem like an odd suggestion, but it can actually yield valuable insights. Your form when brushing your teeth is important. You need to ensure you’re using the right circular motion and brushing every section of your teeth for a long enough time.
It can be difficult to confidently know you’re practicing proper form if you can’t closely watch yourself brushing. Yes, you could look in the mirror when brushing, but it’s difficult to truly focus on evaluating your form during the process.
Many find it’s much easier to simply take a video of themselves brushing. You only have to do this once. After you’re done, you can check the video to make sure you’re brushing properly.
6. Brush Your Tongue
Your teeth and gums aren’t the only parts of your mouth that benefit from regular brushing. Many dental health professionals also recommend brushing your tongue gently.
After all, your tongue is home to a lot of bacteria. That bacteria can easily eat away at other oral tissues in your mouth. Brushing it away is key to avoiding this. It’s also worth noting that brushing your tongue is an effective way to improve bad breath.
7. Pick the Right Toothpaste
Not all toothpaste brands are equally effective. You need to choose one with fluoride, as fluoride strengthens teeth and guards against decay. It’s also important to choose a toothpaste with the ADA seal on the label. This indicates top oral health professionals believe this toothpaste to be effective at keeping your mouth clean.
8. Find a Flossing Option that Works for You
Some people neglect flossing for a very simple reason: they find it too difficult. This is understandable. However, flossing plays an essential role in your oral health. That’s why you need to maintain the habit. If traditional floss doesn’t work for you, consider other options, such as water flossers or a dental pick.
Keeping these tips in mind is important. Remember, you rely on your teeth every day. These tips will help you keep them in the best possible shape for as long as possible.