But to ensure that your teeth stay healthy there is a lot more to it than just using your toothbrush once a day. Here are some ways you can improve your dental hygiene right now.
Although you know that brushing your teeth is important you might not be doing it the right way, you first learned the technique many years ago after all. Dentists recommend that you brush your teeth after every meal, but the bare minimum you can get away with is twice a day, once in the morning and once before going to sleep.
There are more than a few widespread brushing techniques. The one considered the most effective is the Bass Method, which involves placing the bristles on your toothbrush directly on your teeth in a 45-degree angle. You then press the bristles slightly so they enter the gumline and from there you just need to brush back and forth, using 10-15 strokes per position. Here’s a link to a diagram from the Indian Dental Association for a more in depth explanation of this and other techniques.
Regardless of the brushing technique you use, you must make sure you are really cleaning your gums too. This will help you prevent a condition called gingivitis, also called gum inflammation. You should get a toothbrush that is specially designed to help clean your gums.
Flossing every night before going to bed allows you to get rid of food particles that get stuck in between your teeth during the day. These particles create the perfect environment and conditions for bacteria to proliferate, causing you to have bad breath and your teeth to decay.
You can find dental floss everywhere and it comes in different types: thin, thick, coated, and uncoated; try a few out so you find the one that is perfect for you and makes flossing less of a hassle. There are also flossing tools available so you no longer have to strangle your fingers trying to get that last bit of food out.
As part of your dental hygiene routine, you should scrape your tongue with a tongue scraper. Food also tends to get trapped on your tongue and this can create the perfect habitat for bacteria, leaving you with bad breath and tooth decay.
You should visit your dentist every three months, this is the official recommendation. But if you are like most people you probably only go for a consult when you are having problems with your teeth. But keeping the dentist as a last resort option is terrible for your dental health since most dental problems can be prevented by visiting your dentist regularly. I swear it gets easier every time you go.
Some habits can be a problem for dental care when not managed properly. Smoking is on the top of the bad habits that ruin your dental health list. Smoking can cause chronic cases of bad breath and yellow teeth. If you smoke regularly, you probably need special dental care.
When you eat candy, starchy foods and snacks you put your dental health at risk. Your best option is to avoid these foods altogether or at least reduce the quantity you usually take in. If you cannot remove them from your diet, then you need to brush your teeth well every time you eat some of these items.
If you wear braces or retainers you should be extra careful when you floss and brush your teeth. You also have to watch what you eat, this means no popcorn, hard candy, gum, or hard tacos. It is important that you make sure there are no food particles stuck in your braces after each meal or snack. For optimum results you should brush your teeth every time you eat anything.