Taking care of your teeth goes far beyond regular brushing and flossing.
Are you taking the best possible care of your teeth?
If you’re like most people, there are some simple steps you could take to improve your oral health on your own, without even visiting a dentist or orthodontist.
Regular dental care is definitely important, but minor changes in your oral hygiene routine can make a big positive impact on the health of your teeth and gums.
Here are 6 things you can do today for a healthier mouth:
Six At-Home Oral Care Tips
1: Use a toothbrush with a small head.
Your teeth have lots of nooks and crannies where particles and bacteria can accumulate.
Especially in the very back of your mouth, behind your molars, it’s difficult to reach and clean with too large of a toothbrush.
By using a smaller brush, you can reach those hard-to-clean areas and keep your teeth cleaner, your breath better, and your mouth healthier.
2: Brush from multiple angles.
Most people don’t brush long enough, and they don’t use dentist recommended brushing techniques to remove plaque, food particles, and microbes.
Here’s the proper way to brush:
Begin with the bristles of your toothbrush at a 45 degree angle to your gums.
With short strokes, brush the sides and tops of your teeth, then hold the brush vertically and use more short strokes to clean the backs of all of your teeth.
Finish with the brush still vertical and clean the front most teeth that you can see when you smile.
Now, you’re brushing like an oral care professional!
3: Limit acidic foods and drinks.
Fruits, soft drinks, and other acidic foods damage your teeth and can cause erosion over time.
Limit high acid foods in your diet to keep your teeth strong and healthy for longer.
Here are some things to eat only in moderation:
- Sugar and sweeteners
- Processed foods
- Fruits and juices, especially citrus
- Corn oil
- Condiments like mayonnaise, vinegar, soy sauce, and mustard
Whenever you do eat sugary or acidic foods, be sure to brush soon after, and you’ll help keep your smile bright and healthy.
4: Only bite foods.
When you’re struggling with a stubborn package, trying to pry open a pistachio, or fighting with a stuck bottle top, it’s tempting to use your bite strength to try to aid your efforts.
Biting things like ice or plastic packaging can weaken and damage your teeth.
It’s better to go get a pair of scissors, a nutcracker, or some other appropriate tool that was made for that job.
Be kind to your teeth and let them do their job – chewing food.
5: Use a longer piece of floss.
When you use the same section of floss to clean between all of your teeth, you’re not removing as much bacteria as you intended.
Microorganisms build up in the crevices in your gums and between you teeth, and it’s best to use a fresh bit of floss between each tooth to clean as much as possible.
Begin with a piece of floss 18 inches long, and you’ll be in great shape.
6: Air dry your toothbrush.
Covers and special containers might seem like a good idea to keep your toothbrush clean, but that’s not usually the case.
The best way to clean your toothbrush is to rinse it thoroughly after use, then allow it to dry in the open air.
Putting your wet toothbrush in a package or closed space actually encourages more bacteria to grow, which isn’t something you want to happen in your bristles.
Also, don’t share your toothbrush with anyone, including your kids.
Proper hygiene will go a long way towards improving your oral health and keeping your smile bright, strong, and beautiful!