Here, our Winnipeg dentists share 5 tips that can help improve your at-home oral hygiene routine. There's a chance you may be able to get more out of your at-home dental care. We're here to help.
While maintaining even a diligent at-home oral care routine cannot replace seeing your dentist for a regular professional dental cleaning, daily brushing and flossing as part of a thorough at-home care regimen can help significantly limit the accumulation of tartar between dental appointments. Today, we'll share 5 tips or oral hygiene to take your at-home care routine to the next level.
1) Use a Timer
You've probably heard that it's important to brush your teeth twice per day for at least 2 minutes each time. Though many people attempt to guess at how long 2 minutes is while brushing their teeth, this often results in under-brushing. Using a timer or stopwatch like the one found in most smartphones can make the difference in ensuring you brush for the correct amount of time.
Bonus tip: You can also try an electric toothbrush. Those that feature built-in timers and vibrate or buzz after they've been running for two minutes are particularly useful.
2) When Brushing, Think of Your Mouth as Having Four Quadrants.
We often recommend that our patients divide their upper and lower jaws into four equal sections mentally, visualizing the upper right, upper left, lower right and lower left quadrants of their mouth.
Aim to spend about 30 seconds brushing the fronts, backs and chewing surfaces of each tooth in one quadrant before moving onto the next during your two minutes of brushing. This helps to make sure that all of your teeth are receiving equal care, and that some aren't being neglected in favour of others.
3) Try Pulling Your Floss into a C-Shape
Flossing is one essential aspect of good oral hygiene. To achieve ideal results with your flossing, you generally don't want to just saw the floss up and down between your teeth a couple of times.
We recommend pulling the floss into a c-shape around a tooth and gently moving it up and down the sides. You can then pull your floss into a c-shape in the opposite direction and repeat the same steps with the other teeth. Think of the C as hugging the tooth being flossed, curving around its form.
This will help ensure that each tooth is carefully cleaned.
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 really is important to try to remember.
If you have trouble remembering to floss, start leaving your floss out in plain sight, somewhere you’re sure to see it. Ideally, keep it right next to your toothpaste and toothbrush. It might seem overly simple, but sometimes little changes like this can have a massive impact on your ability to develop 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.
To help you determine when to replace your toothbrush, take a good look at it. If the bristles are bent, frayed or flattened, it’s probably time to get a new toothbrush. Many toothbrushes have bristles that are blue in colour. The blue will start to fade over time, and when it’s about half gone you should replace your toothbrush.