Sure, you want a beautiful smile, but did you know that begins with a healthy one? Dental checkups are important to keep both your teeth and gums looking and feeling their best, but there are also steps you should take each day between checkups to keep your mouth healthy. The great news is that it only takes a few minutes a day to drastically reduce your likelihood of developing cavities and other dental problems. Just take your preventive dentist’s advice, which is that oral hygiene is key!
What Does Dental Hygiene Entail?
You probably know you should brush your teeth twice a day, at least that’s what you were likely taught as a child. But if you’re not actually sure what proper brushing technique is, your preventive dentist can help provide some pointers, that can help make your next dental checkup and cleaning a great success.
- Before you can begin brushing, you need the proper tools. Many people think that a hard-bristled brush is ideal for removing food and bacteria, but hard bristles can be damaging to your teeth and gums. Stick with soft bristles and gentle brush strokes.
- As for toothpaste, opt for a non-abrasive kind that won’t scratch your enamel. And contrary to what is displayed in many advertisements, you don’t need to fill the entire brush. It actually only takes a pea-sized amount of paste to properly clean your teeth.
- You will need to hold your brush at a 45-degree angle to your gums, then brush in teeth-wide strokes. You should spend two full minutes brushing and be sure to get the front and back of all your teeth, as well as the tops of them, and then your tongue. Many people don’t realize that the tongue, not just the teeth, can be a breeding ground for bacteria and also a cause of bad breath. Ward this off by gently brushing your tongue.
- While over-brushing can be bad for your teeth, most people would be best off brushing their teeth three times a day, once in the morning, once in the afternoon, and once at night. This helps cut down how much time your teeth and gums are exposed to bacteria and food particles, and can therefore help prevent cavities and other dental problems.
- After brushing, you should floss between each tooth, always using gentle motions to guide the floss, so as not to irritate your sensitive gum tissue.