Even though almost everyone agrees on the importance of good oral hygiene, poor cleaning habits are more common than you probably think. Nearly a third of American adults don’t brush their teeth at least twice a day, one third never flosses, and a shocking 92% of them have had at least one cavity at some point during their lives. October is National Dental Hygiene Month, making it the perfect time to learn about the best care practices and make improvements where they’re needed. Here are 4 tips for a better dental health routine!
1. Use the Proper Brushing Technique
Brushing incorrectly can often be as bad as not brushing at all. To use proper technique:
- Hold your toothbrush at a 45-degree angle relative to your gums.
- Use short (tooth-wide) back and forth strokes.
- Brush gently; scrubbing your teeth hard like you would your floors won’t help them get any cleaner and could actually hurt them.
- When cleaning the inside surfaces of your teeth, tilt your brush vertically and use up-and-down strokes.
- Don’t forget to brush your tongue as well.
2. Don’t Forget to Floss
There are several hard to reach spaces in your mouth that a toothbrush can’t clean very well. Flossing is the best way to remove the food particles and other harmful substances that become stuck in the gaps between your teeth. If you never floss, you should start right away. In some cases, you might have trouble using traditional string floss; if you do, try using interdental brushes or water flossers that can do the same job while potentially being easier to handle.
3. Maintain a Tooth-Friendly Diet
Everyone knows that candy and other sugary treats can damage your pearly whites, but there are plenty of tooth-friendly foods you can enjoy as well. Cheese contains calcium, which helps prevent tooth decay. Crunchy fruits and vegetables like apples and celery help clean the teeth as you chew thanks to their crisp texture and increased saliva production. Talk to your dentist about your diet and see what you could add – or subtract – to help keep your teeth healthy.
4. Don’t Forget to Visit the Dentist
Even the best oral hygiene routine isn’t foolproof. Tooth decay and gum disease may start to develop in your mouth without you even realizing it. Your dentist can find such oral health problems in their early stages, when they can be easily treated and reversed. Most patients should have two preventive dental appointments every year, although in some cases more frequent visits are warranted.
Dental checkups are also a great time to ask about your dental health and what new products or techniques you can use to improve it. When it comes to saving your smile for the future, it always pays to think ahead!
About the Practice
At Pelican Landing Dental, our expert dentists in Bonita Springs always have your best interests at heart. We’ll make sure you and your family feel comfortable as we provide the preventive care you need to keep your smile healthy and bright. To schedule an appointment, visit our website or call (239) 948-2111.