By Kate Ranta on Feb 3, 2021 @ 11:00 AM
Having good dental hygiene is more than just going to the dentist. It's an everyday practice! A daily dental routine will help you and your family keep your teeth white, your breath fresh, help prevent cavities and defend against diseases such as gingivitis.
Here are 6 good dental hygiene tips for a healthy dental routine:
- Floss every day: Flossing prevents tartar from building up around your teeth. Tartar is that hardened yellow plaque that you sometimes see in the corners of your teeth. A buildup of tartar can inflame your gums and cause gingivitis. Preventing tartar from building up will also help keep your teeth white. Floss between each tooth, regardless of if you have food stuck there or not. If it has been a while since you last flossed, your gums may bleed during the first few times flossing. Keep flossing, and your gums will toughen up!
- Throw out your old toothbrush: Using the same toothbrush for too long is like using a dirty sponge to clean your dishes. Your toothbrush starts to carry bacteria into your mouth while you are trying to clean bacteria out. Change out your toothbrush or toothbrush head when you notice that the bristles are starting to bend. Or use a new toothbrush or toothbrush head every three to four months, whichever comes first.
- Brush your teeth each morning and night. It is commonly known that you need to brush your teeth at least twice a day. If you’re really ambitious, you can brush after every meal. Regardless of how many times you brush your teeth in a day, be sure you are brushing your teeth first thing in the morning and last thing at night. Doing so will help prevent cavities.
While you sleep, your mouth dries out and loses its saliva. Saliva helps keep plaque off your teeth, so you are most likely to build up plague and develop cavities at night. So make sure you brush your teeth before you go to bed to clean out the plague before it gets a chance to stick to your teeth, and then brush first thing in the morning to clean out any plaque or bacteria that made it onto your teeth during the night.
- Slow down while brushing your teeth. Brushing too rigorously can actually damage your gums, and rushing through the process fails to adequately clean your teeth. Try holding your toothbrush like a pencil to avoid brushing too hard. Spend at least two minutes brushing your teeth in circular motions.
- Brush your tongue. Bacteria on your tongue are actually a major cause to bad breath - so brush your tongue! A tongue scraper is most effective; however, if you do not have a tongue scraper, give your tongue a gentle scrub with your toothbrush while brushing your teeth.
- Rinse daily with mouthwash. Mouthwash doesn't just kill bad breath. It kills bacteria and prevents plaque from forming on your teeth. The really great thing about mouthwash is that it only takes thirty seconds of swishing it around your mouth to kill the bacteria in hard to reach places that you may miss with your toothbrush or dental floss. Talk with your dentist about the different kinds of mouthwash to determine which is best for you. If you need some in a pinch, use our guide below to create your own at home!
Good dental hygiene only takes a few minutes a day. Even if you are following these tips, be sure you and your children go to the dentist at least twice a year for a checkup and a cleaning! During your check up, your dentist will be able to tell you how your daily routine is working and if you need to make any adjustments.