One of the best ways to care for your teeth is to brush them regularly (and with proper technique). Of course, there’s a lot more to it than that. If you want to take the very best care of your teeth, then you’ll need to pay close attention to the way you brush. The products you use, how you use them, and your other eating and dental care habits matter, too. Here are some top tips to help you take oral care to the next level.
Lots of people brush their teeth twice a day, but they brush so quickly that they don’t do a great job. If you consistently miss the same tooth or teeth, you’re more likely to experience tartar buildup and decay in that area.
One way to do a more thorough job of brushing is to set a timer for 2 minutes. Then, go about brushing in a systematic way. Spend 30 seconds on each quadrant of your mouth.
Toothbrushes don’t last forever. As you use them, the bristles become worn down and less effective. Toothbrushes also hold onto bacteria. The ADA recommends getting a new toothbrush every 3 months. Consider buying a few all at once so you always have a new one on-hand.
Some people do a great job of brushing with a normal toothbrush, and others don’t. If you’re always missing spots, or if your dentist is always noting tartar buildup in the same areas, switching to an electric toothbrush can help. A good electric toothbrush also does a better job of cleaning between the teeth, which is helpful if you’re prone to cavities in these areas.
Flossing your teeth may not be fun, but it really is important for cavity prevention. Flossing removes bacteria and plaque from between your teeth so you don’t get cavities in these areas.
You’re more likely to floss if you purchase products you’re comfortable using. If your teeth are really close together, try using extra thin floss. If you have trouble fitting your fingers in your mouth, flossing picks may be a good alternative. Most dentists will be happy to give you samples of different flossing tools so you can experiment and find one you’ll stick with.
Mouthwash does a lot more than make your breath smell good. It helps kill oral bacteria that can lead to bad breath, tooth decay, and gum disease. Look for an ADA-approved mouthwash, and use it daily after brushing your teeth. Remember to swish it around for a full 30 seconds before spitting it out.
The outer layer of your teeth is called the enamel. It’s really hard and tough, but it does have an arch nemesis: acid. Over time, acid exposure can weaken your tooth enamel, which can lead to tooth sensitivity and decay. To avoid these problems, limit your intake of acidic foods and drinks.
Common acidic foods and drinks include tomato sauce, orange juice, other citrus juices, and wine. You don’t have to avoid these foods completely, but you don’t want them to become staples in your diet, either. When you do consume acidic foods, take a few sips of water afterwards. This will rinse the acid off your teeth and limit any harm that’s done.
When you eat sugar, the sugar that remains in your mouth is eaten by oral bacteria. Those oral bacteria release acid, which weakens the enamel and causes cavities to form. That’s why limiting sugar is one of the best things you can do for your teeth. Replace soda with sugar-free beverages, such as tea or seltzer. Avoid candy and cookies, instead reaching for tooth-friendly snacks like cheese.
Professional dental cleanings are an important part of a good oral hygiene routine. Your dental hygienist is able to remove tartar, a hardened form of plaque, that you can’t remove with a toothbrush and floss. Tartar is loaded with oral bacteria, and removing it will help prevent cavities and gum disease.
Most people should see their dentist in Rolla for a cleaning every 6 months. Your dentist will tell you if a different cleaning schedule better fits your needs.
If you follow the advice above, you’ll have a smile care routine that others should envy. Your teeth will surely thank you! Contact us if you need to schedule a cleaning and checkup. We love to see our patients smile.
713 Salem Avenue Suite A, Rolla MO 65401
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WED - THU 7:30 am - 3:30 pm
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