24 May 7 Dental Tips for a Cleaner Smile
Is your smile looking a little dull? Perhaps your teeth aren’t as healthy as they used to be? If this is the case, it’s time to brush up on your oral health!
Below you’ll discover 7 dental tips recommended by our general dentist to help you achieve a healthier, whiter smile.
7 Dental Tips that Lead to a Whiter Smile
Just like the rest of your body, your teeth, gums, and mouth deserve their share of tender, loving care. With a few tweaks to your daily habits and what you use to make your smile bright, you can make your pearly whites feel great again.
1. Not All Toothbrushes are the Same
Have you noticed the toothbrush selection at your store varies in size and bristle type? There is a reason for this, and it’s more than just personal preference.
A toothbrush should be small enough to reach the back of your molars, but soft enough not to cause your gums to bleed. Most general dentists recommend small to medium brushes with soft bristles, as they are gentle on the gums and most likely to reach the small and hard to reach crevices within your mouth.
The rest of the brush design, such as bristle shape and grip, is up to you.
Electric toothbrushes are popular. They are efficient at cleaning teeth and advantageous to those who have limited mobility.
2. Take Your Time When Brushing Your Teeth
How often do you brush your teeth each day?
Is it enough?
Most patients know they should brush at least twice daily–once in the morning and a second time before bed.
However, what they may not realize is they might not be brushing long enough. Taking your time to clean your teeth right matters if you want to achieve good oral health.
The American Dental Association (ADA) recommends brushing your teeth for a minimum of two minutes every session. If this sounds like an eternity to spend on your teeth, find a way to gauge the length of your teeth brushing session.
For example, next time you brush your teeth, try turning on one of your favorite songs to help you gauge the time. If you brush your teeth for the duration of a song lasting two to three minutes long, you’ll discover the time goes by much quicker.
You may even look forward to those brushing sessions more!
3. Brush Your Teeth Properly
Next thing to consider is how you brush your teeth. There’s actually a designated technique to help you achieve an optimal level of clean. Doing it differently can leave plaque, tartar, and other buildups behind.
To brush your teeth correctly, start by holding your toothbrush at a 45-degree angle, then use short, back and forth strokes to clean the front and sides of your teeth.
Next, hold your toothbrush vertically and use short strokes to brush the back and anterior teeth, such as your wisdom teeth, molars, central incisors, lateral incisors, and cuspids.
4. Make Sure You’re Flossing
Flossing shouldn’t be optional. This routine helps capture and eliminate buildup that forms between your teeth throughout the day.
Like brushing your teeth, there is a specific technique for flossing. Using a string approximately eighteen inches in length, wrap the ends around your fingers until you have a taut, firm grip on the floss.
This length may seem excessive, but realize you want to keep your floss clean as you use it. By utilizing this length, you should be able to go through all of your teeth with a fresh section of floss.
After all, you don’t want to do all that work only to reinsert everything you just removed from your previous tooth.
As you insert the floss between each tooth, pull the string forward and backward to work any debris out from between the teeth. Repeat this step until you complete both the bottom and top rows.
The ADA recommends flossing at least once a day.
5. Skip the Midnight Snacks
Do you have a habit of eating snacks at midnight or before bed?
If so, you may be negating your nightly cleanings. When you go to bed without brushing your teeth last, you create a breeding ground for bacteria to thrive. Even if you brush your teeth prior to having a snack, you negate all of your hard work.
Always, always brush your teeth after eating and before going to bed. If you can’t resist a midnight nibble, make sure you brush your teeth afterward.
Your mouth will thank you in the long run.
6. Keep Your Toothbrush Clean and Fresh
Your mouth isn’t the only thing you want to keep pristine when you’re tending to oral hygiene. Just like you wouldn’t bathe in dirty bath water, you should never be cleaning your teeth with a dirty toothbrush.
Always rinse your toothbrush thoroughly after every use and store it in a clean container. The average toothbrush lasts approximately 3 months before the bristles start to wear and fall out.
Make it a point to replace your toothbrush approximately every three months or more. If you’ve recently been sick, dispose of your toothbrush and replace it with a fresh one.
This will reduce the risk of your getting sick again from lingering germs.
7. Top It Off with Mouthwash
Mouthwash should be part of every adult’s oral care regimen. This fluid is able to reach areas your toothbrush and floss cannot, ensuring an overall optimal cleaning.
It flushes out stubborn bacteria and food hiding in the crevices of your mouth, many of which can irritate your gums and lead to gingivitis. Just make sure you follow the directions on the bottle.
Don’t overuse or swallow mouthwash, as this can have adverse health effects. Children under the age of twelve should not include mouthwash in their oral care routine.
Setup Your Next Dental Appointment
Daniel Allen, DDS is a general dentist servicing New Braunfels, Texas and the surrounding area. If it’s been awhile since your last dentist visit, make it a point to schedule an appointment with us.
Our general dentist can provide you with a routine teeth cleaning and checkup as well as provide dental tips catered specifically to your needs.