With the new year approaching fast, do you have your resolution planned out? Along with dropping a few pounds, usually having better personal hygiene tops the list of resolutions. There is nothing wrong with wanting to take better care of yourself. In fact, doing so actually leads to increased confidence. If your resolution is to have better oral hygiene, here is what you should be doing to create a solid routine to stick to in the new year!
Flossing your teeth is something many of us do not do and it’s a bad habit. It seems like something that takes a lot of effort and time, but that isn’t true. Flossing your teeth requires a few minutes and a little bit of arm strength. It helps remove plaque where your brush cannot reach, which can save you from future issues. If that plaque builds up, it can cause gum disease and cavities that can be painful and expensive to fix. So do yourself a favor and floss every time you brush for some extra protection!
According to the American Dental Association (ADA), it’s best to brush your teeth twice a day; once in the morning and once at night. For many of us, brushing our teeth has become a morning activity but is often neglected at night. Both times of day are equally important. After a full day or eating and drinking, your teeth can accumulate a lot of food particles. If you don’t brush them before bed, the bacteria will sit and could turn into plaque.
Also when brushing your teeth, make sure you are doing it properly. Every toothbrush is different so be sure to pick the one that is best for you. If you are unsure, simply ask your dentist. When it comes to physically brushing, make sure you do so for at least two minutes. Hold your brush at a 45-degree angle to your gums, brush up and down and give your mouth a rinse when you have finished. Also, be sure to change brushes every 3 or 4 months. This will help provide optimal cleaning.
Not everyone knows this but that rough side on the back of your toothbrush is a tongue scraper. It’s designed specifically for removing bacteria, dead cells and food from the surface of your tongue. This is what will help you ditch that bad morning breath. Be sure to scrape in one motion from the back of your tongue to the front. Do this multiple times over different sections every morning or night when you brush your teeth.
Just like everything else, there are countless types of mouthwashes on the market. Some are made to mask bad breath, kill bacteria or prevent cavities. Be sure to do your research and know what you are looking for before making a purchase.
The ADA claims that it doesn’t matter if you use mouthwash before or after brushing, so it’s all a matter of preference. When it comes time, many products use the cap as a measuring cup. Fill to the recommended amount and be sure not to swallow any. Usually it’s best to swish it around for 30 seconds to a minute but each bottle comes with instructions. Once you make sure all areas of your mouth have been covered, go ahead and spit it out and enjoy the fresh feeling it leaves behind.
Be sure to set up yearly appointments with your dentist. Going in for a routine checkup and cleaning will let you know if you have been doing a good job or what you should change. After all, it’s better to be safe than sorry!
If you are looking for a dentist in the Royal Oak area, Dr. Larry Duffield has experience within all aspects of dentistry. From cosmetic to general dentistry, he and his well trained staff are dedicated to giving you a friendly, pain-free experience. For more information about services provided, or to set up an appointment, give Duffield Dentistry a call at 877-630-7410.
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