There are various parts and components of your body that are a one-time deal and if you don’t look after them properly you lose them, and your teeth fit into that category.
Committing to a daily dental care regime is a bit of a no-brainer as it helps to maintain the health of your teeth and gums and also preserves that smile which is such a part of who you are.
Even if you are someone who has been brushing and flossing regularly for years there is a chance that you have not been doing it right. Here are some tips and insights into how you can go about looking after your teeth and gums in the best possible way.
The right tools for the job
There are ways to fix dental problems and replace missing teeth by referring to specialists like Oral and Maxillofacial Surgeons of Houston amongst others, but there are plenty of preventative measures you can take to preserve your teeth in good condition, starting with using the right tools for effective brushing and flossing.
Not all toothbrushes are the same and it is important that you find one that is easy to hold and manipulate and also has soft, rounded bristles. It pays to invest in a good quality toothbrush, which shouldn’t be too expensive anyway, and keep an eye on the state of the bristles as with proper and regular use you should find that it will need replacing every couple of months.
Next item on your home dental care checklist is a toothpaste that contains fluoride. There are various brands available so you can pick a personal preference but the key ingredient to look out for is fluoride, which helps fight demineralization caused by acid.
The final tool you need in your armory is floss. It doesn’t have to be any specific brand or style, so you can choose how you do your flossing using picks or sticks if that helps.
Improve your brushing technique
Now that you have all the right tools at your disposal to protect your teeth it is just a matter of using them in the right way to achieve the best possible results.
Here are some suggested tips and steps to follow for better brushing and better results.
Try to use your toothbrush at a 45-degree angle to your gumline and apply sufficient pressure so that you can feel the bristles against your gums and between the teeth. What you don’t want to do is apply excessive pressure so that the bristles bend and don’t maintain a straight profile.
The next step is to create a routine where you brush the inner and outer tooth surfaces at least twice during cleaning. Aim to use short, circular strokes combined with a scrubbing motion and don’t neglect to brush along your gumline as well.
Ideally, you want to be brushing your chewing surfaces straight on and then tilting the brush vertically so that you are able to accurately reach and clean the inside surfaces of your front teeth using up and down strokes with the front of the brush.
It pays to remember that your toothbrush can only manage to efficiently clean one tooth at a time, so concentrate on them individually and move along the row following the same rigorous procedure for each one.
Don’t forget to brush your tongue at the end of the routine as oral bacteria can often cling to your taste buds.
Some dentists do also recommend using an electric toothbrush as a way of ensuring you get the right cleaning action. The same rules of engagement apply if you use an electric toothbrush, and check the bristles for signs of wear regularly.
Don’t forget to floss
Regular flossing is equally important in your quest to keep your teeth and gums healthy.
Get a decent length of floss (about 20”) and wind it around one of your middle fingers and the remainder around the same finger on your other hand. With about an inch of the floss between your hands, glide the floss between each tooth with a delicate sawing action.
If you haven’t flossed for a while it is to be expected that you might get some bleeding from your gums or they could feel sore. This should last more than a few days and after you have got into the habit of removing bacteria through regular flossing, your gums will become much more resilient to your cleaning action.
A consistent routine of brushing and flossing in the right way could make a big difference to the health of your teeth and gums, allowing you to maintain that perfect smile for a lot longer than if you take a more half-hearted approach to oral hygiene.
Georgina Craig works as a hygienist at a busy dental practice. She loves her job so much that she’s now started to write articles about dental health and keeping those pearly whites sparkling!