Oral Hygiene Tips from a Dentist
As an adult, it’s important to care for your teeth properly. Your pearly whites are more susceptible to decay and deterioration as you age. Even brushing twice a day isn’t enough to keep the bacteria away. To help prevent oral health issues, follow these tips from your Fairbanks dentist and enjoy sparkling teeth no matter your age!
The 2-Minute Brush
How long do you brush your teeth? A minute? Thirty seconds? Time matters when it comes to oral health. The American Dental Association recommends brushing for at least two minutes each morning and night. This allows adequate time to remove food particles and to reach those back molars. If you’re struggling to brush for an entire two minutes, try putting on your favorite song. You can also set a timer on your phone or watch a quick video. Time will fly when you’re not focused on the seconds ticking by.
Even if you’re brushing for two minutes, it’s not effective if you don’t use the proper technique. It’s not enough to simply run the soft bristles of your brush over the surface of your teeth. Instead, hold your toothbrush at a 45-degree angle to your gums. Then, use small strokes or tiny circular motions to gently clean the entirety of each tooth. Pay special attention to the front anterior teeth and molars, as this is where plaque and food particles often build up.
Clean Your Brush
Your toothbrush is designed to clean your teeth, but that doesn’t mean that you shouldn’t give it a good cleaning, too. To ensure that bacteria is removed from the bristles of your toothbrush after each brushing, rinse it thoroughly with cold running water. Let your brush air dry before using it again. Rinsing your brush prevents new bacteria from breeding and then ending up in your mouth. Also, don’t share your toothbrush with anyone!
Choose the Right Products
While all toothbrushes and toothpastes may seem equal, they aren’t. Some will get your teeth cleaner than others and also combat decay and bacteria. To ensure that you’re using a quality product, look for the ADA Seal of Acceptance. Anything that has the ADA Seal means that it’s been examined by the ADA and meets certain qualifications and regulations. These products are approved to provide an effective clean and a suitable amount of fluoride.
Don’t Forget to Floss
Flossing is the most-skipped step in the oral health routine. Most people figure that if they’re brushing properly, it’s enough to combat bacteria and decay. However, some food particles become lodged in-between teeth and can’t be removed without the help of floss. Flossing should occur each time you brush. To floss properly, use 18 inches of ADA-approved floss. Use a fresh section of floss each time you reinsert the strand into your mouth. Be sure to clean each side of the tooth, paying special attention to the molars in the back.
Caring for your teeth should be just as much a part of your daily routine as any other aspect. By implementing these tips from your North Pole dentist, your teeth will remain in excellent condition and you’ll prevent the spread of decay and bacteria.