Welcome to today's post, where our dentists in Hampton will share 5 useful tips to enhance your at-home oral hygiene routine. We understand that many of our patients may not be maximizing their dental care practices at home, but don't worry! This post is dedicated to helping you improve that.
Professional dental cleanings are crucial for removing tartar from your teeth, and they should not be substituted by at-home care alone. However, maintaining a comprehensive at-home care routine can significantly reduce tartar buildup between appointments. Here are 5 oral hygiene tips that can elevate your at-home care routine.
1) Use a Timer
Chances are, you've probably heard the advice to brush your teeth twice a day for at least 2 minutes each time. However, many people struggle to accurately estimate the duration of 2 minutes while brushing, leading to inadequate cleaning. To tackle this issue, using a stopwatch or timer, such as the one commonly found in smartphones, can make a significant difference in ensuring you brush for the right amount of time.
Bonus Tip: Another helpful option is to try an electric toothbrush. Specifically, look for electric toothbrushes with built-in timers that emit a buzz or vibration after running for two minutes. These features can be particularly beneficial in maintaining proper brushing duration.
2) When Brushing, Think of Your Mouth as Having Four Quadrants.
To visualize your teeth while brushing, mentally divide your upper and lower jaws into four sections: upper left, upper right, lower left, and lower right. During the two minutes of brushing, spend about 30 seconds on each quadrant, brushing the fronts, backs, and chewing surfaces of the teeth. This ensures that you give equal care to all your teeth and avoid unintentionally neglecting any.
3) Try Pulling Your Floss into a C-Shape
Flossing is crucial for maintaining good oral hygiene. To maximize the benefits of flossing, avoid simply moving the floss up and down a few times between your teeth.
For optimal outcomes, follow these steps: gently pull the floss into a C-shape around one tooth, and slide it up and down the sides. Then, repeat the same process on the other tooth, but create the C-shape in the opposite direction. Imagine the C-shape as a hug around the tooth, embracing its shape.
By following these steps, you will ensure that each tooth receives a thorough cleaning.
4) Keep Your Floss in Plain Sight
If you forget to floss after brushing, bacteria and food bits remain in hard-to-reach places. This can lead to tooth decay and bad breath in the long run, so it's crucial to make an effort to remember.
If you struggle to remember flossing, place your floss in a visible spot, ideally next to your toothbrush and toothpaste. This small adjustment may seem simple, but it can greatly improve your ability to form new habits.
5) Replace Your Toothbrush Regularly
Your toothbrush works hard, but it wears out fast. It's best to replace it every three months, or even sooner if it shows signs of wear. Inspect it closely to know when it's time for a new toothbrush. If the bristles are bent, frayed, or flat, it's likely due for a replacement. Some toothbrushes have blue bristles that fade over time. When about half of the blue color is gone, it's a good indicator that you should get a new toothbrush.