In today's post, our Warman dentists offer 5 tips that can help improve your at-home oral hygiene routine. Oftentimes our patients are not getting the most out of their at-home dental care, so this post is here to help rectify that.
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
You've most likely heard that it's crucial to brush your teeth twice a day for at least two minutes each. When brushing their teeth, a lot of people try to estimate how long two minutes should be and end up underbrushing. It can make a difference if you use a stopwatch or timer, like the one on most smartphones, to make sure you brush for the appropriate 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.
Aim to 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 caring for each tooth equally and are not unintentionally favouring some teeth over 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 see the floss up and down between your teeth a couple of times.
The floss should be c-shaped around the tooth and moved gently up and down the sides for best results. Next, carry out the same procedures on the other tooth by c-shaping your floss in the opposite direction. Consider the C as hugging and contouring around 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 is important to try to remember.
Start leaving your floss out in the open, where you'll be sure to see it, if you have trouble remembering to use it. Keep it ideally close to your toothbrush and toothpaste. Even though it might seem overly basic, small adjustments like this occasionally have a significant impact on your capacity 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 close look at your toothbrush to help you decide when to replace it. It's probably time for a new toothbrush if the bristles are curved, frayed, or flattened. The bristles of many toothbrushes are blue. Over time, the blue will start to fade, and you should replace your toothbrush when it is about half gone.