Here, our Delta dentist lists 5 tips that can help improve your at-home oral hygiene routine. Our patients often do not get the most out of their at-home dental care, so this post is here to help rectify that.
Because built-up tartar gets removed from your teeth during professional dental cleanings, these visits to your dental office should not be replaced by at-home care options. That said, maintaining a thorough at-home care regimen can help significantly limit the buildup of tartar between dental appointments. These 5 tips for oral hygiene in this post can help take your at-home care routine to the next level.
1) Use a Timer
You've probably heard before that it's important to brush your teeth for at least two minutes each time, twice a day. Many people try to estimate how long two minutes is while brushing their teeth and the result is that they under-brush. Setting a timer or stopwatch like the one found on most smartphones can make the difference in ensuring you brush for the right amount of time.
Bonus tip: You might also try an electric toothbrush. Particularly useful are electric toothbrushes that have built-in timers and vibrate or buzz after they've run for two minutes.
2) Think of Your Mouth as Having Four Quadrants While Brushing
One useful exercise may be to mentally divide your upper and lower jaws into four equal sections while brushing: upper left, upper right, lower left, lower right.
During your two minutes oof brushing time, aim to spend about 30 seconds each brushing the fronts, backs and chewing surfaces of all teeth in one quadrant, before moving on to the next. This helps make sure you're giving all of your teeth equal care, and not accidentally 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.