Wondering if your at-home oral hygiene routine could use a boost? Our dentists in Winnipeg offer 5 tips to help you get the most out of their at-home dental care.
It's important to attend regular professional dental cleanings so your dentist can remove tartar that's accumulated on your teeth. These appointments should not be replaced by only at-home care options, but maintaining a thorough at-home care regimen can help limit the buildup of plaque and tartar between appointments significantly. We list 5 tips for oral hygiene in this post that can help you take your at-home oral care routine to the next level.
1) Use a Timer
You've probably heard before that it's important to brush your teeth twice a day for at least two minutes each time. While many people try to estimate how long two minutes is while brushing their teeth and end up under brushing, it may help to use a stopwatch or timer (you've likely got one if you have a smartphone) can make the difference in making sure you brush for the correct amount of time.
Bonus tip: You might also consider trying 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) Think of Your Mouth as Having Four Quadrants While Brushing
Visualizing your teeth while you brush may be a useful exercise. We advise patients to divide their upper and lower jaws into four equal sections mentally: upper left, upper right, lower left, and lower right.
During these two minutes, aim to spend about 30 seconds brushing the chewing surfaces, backs and fronts of all the teeth in one quadrant before moving to the next. This helps ensure you're giving equal care to all of your teeth, and not inadvertently neglecting some teeth in favour of 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 saw the floss up and down between your teeth a couple of times.
For best results, one should pull the floss into a c-shape around a tooth, and gently move it up and down the sides. Then repeat the same steps on the other tooth by pulling your floss into a c-shape in the opposite direction. Think of the C as hugging the tooth being flossed, curving around its form.
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 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.