Our Winnipeg dentists offer 5 tips to help you improve your at-home oral hygiene routine in today's post. Our patients aren't always getting the most out of their at-home dental care, so this article is here to help.
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 that said, keeping a thorough at-home care regimen can help limit the build of that tartar between appointments significantly. These 5 tips for oral hygiene below can help take your at-home care routine to the next level.
1) Use a Timer
It's highly likely that you've heard that brushing your teeth twice a day for at least 2 minutes each time is essential. When brushing their teeth, many people try to guess how long 2 minutes is and end up underbrushing. Using a stopwatch or timer, such as those found in most smartphones, can be the difference between brushing for the right amount of time and brushing for the wrong 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.
Spend about 30 seconds brushing the fronts, backs, and chewing surfaces of all the teeth in one quadrant during your two minutes of brushing before moving on to the next. This ensures that you are treating all of your teeth equally and not 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.
Pull the floss into a c-shape around a tooth and gently move it up and down the sides for best results. Then, by pulling your floss into a c-shape in the opposite direction, repeat the process on the other tooth. Consider the C as hugging and curving around the form of the tooth being flossed.
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 have trouble remembering to floss, place your floss in a visible location where you will see it. It's best if you keep it near your toothpaste and toothbrush. It may appear overly simple, but even small changes can have a significant impact on your ability to form new habits.
5) Replace Your Toothbrush Regularly
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.
Take a good look at your toothbrush to see when it's time to replace it. It's probably time to get a new toothbrush if the bristles are bent, frayed, or flattened. Blue bristles can be found on many toothbrushes. The blue will fade over time, and you should replace your toothbrush when it's about half gone.