Maintaining good oral hygiene requires developing healthy habits early on. This is why many dentists encourage parents to bring their children in for their first visit before they reach the age of one. However, over time, morning and nighttime rituals may become more relaxed, especially as schedules become busier. If you have fallen out of the routine of taking proper care of your smile, here are three oral hygiene habits to adopt during National Dental Hygiene Month in October.
Make Sure You’re Brushing a Full Two Minutes
If you think rushing through your brushing routine will be enough to combat cavities, you’re wrong. Dentists recommend that you set a time for two minutes and do not stop brushing until your time is up.
This ensures that each quadrant receives the appropriate amount of attention, as bacteria can easily settle on the surfaces of teeth as well as around the gumline.
Using fluoride toothpaste can help to strengthen this outer layer of enamel while also alleviating the potential of decay. That is if you make sure to brush for a full two minutes. If you need help, you can purchase an electric toothbrush, as many come with timers, or you can use a stopwatch or your smartphone to keep track of time.
Don’t Forget to Floss
Flossing is just as important as regular brushing. However, too many people tend to “forget” this step.
Bacteria and food particles can easily become trapped between teeth, resulting in an increased risk of tooth decay and gum disease. Without proper removal, it can begin to break down enamel and irritate soft oral tissues.
Whether you choose to use traditional floss, a water irrigator, or pre-made flossers, ensuring this step is something you perform at least once a day is essential for better oral health.
Complete Your Routine with Mouthwash
The final step of any good oral hygiene routine is using mouthwash. Finding one that has the ADA seal of approval and targets tooth decay can be a great addition. Not only will you finish your morning or nighttime routine with fresher breath, but you’ll feel more confident knowing that your smile is better protected.
Think of mouthwash as the final rinse you can give your mouth that eliminates anything brushing and flossing leaves behind.
Don’t continue to put your oral and overall health at risk. Consider incorporating these three helpful tips into your daily routine and start seeing a more beautiful smile that lasts throughout the year.
About 21st Century Dental of Irving
Dr. Kent Smith is a general dentist who also specializes in sleep medicine. Overseeing various practices throughout the Dallas/Ft. Worth areas, he and his colleagues are equipped to provide exceptional dental care to individuals in need of healthier smiles. If you would like to take better care of your teeth and gums, visit our website or call (972) 255-3712.