One of the most important aspects of maintaining a healthy, beautiful smile is practicing proper oral hygiene habits. However, many of us have developed harmful habits that negate our daily brushing and flossing.
Here are a few of the most important do’s and don’ts of oral hygiene:
Don’t Brush Aggressively
While it is important to brush thoroughly and ensure that you are cleaning each tooth, brushing too aggressively can actually cause incredible damage to your smile. When you brush your teeth too hard, you can remove the enamel that protects your teeth. Instead of using a firm back and forth motion while brushing, try brushing in small circular motions.
Don’t Skip Flossing
Brushing is the best way to clean the surface of your teeth, but unfortunately brushing alone will not do the trick. Many patients leave flossing out of their oral hygiene routine because they find that it causes their gums to bleed. This is not a reason to give up flossing but rather a sign that you need to be flossing more!
It is important to note that if you are experiencing prolonged bleeding during any step of your oral hygiene routine you should seek professional care. This can be a sign of disease or infection that requires intervention.
Don’t Ignore Tooth Pain
Even patients who are dedicated to daily oral hygiene experience tooth pain from time to time. Although your smile may look healthy, tooth pain could be a sign of a cavity, tooth decay, gum disease, or more. Even if you are not due for your dental exam it is important to schedule a visit to get to the bottom of your tooth pain.
Do Brush Twice a Day
There are many habits that you can add to your dental routine that will help your smile remain in top condition. Brushing twice each day is perhaps the most important oral hygiene routine. Brushing your teeth twice a day for two minutes each time will ensure that you are properly cleaning your teeth.
We recommend brushing your teeth once in the morning and once before bed at night. Establishing brushing as a part of your routine will ensure that you don’t miss a day. Trust us, your teeth will thank you!
Do Start Oral Hygiene Early
Many parents wait to begin instilling oral hygiene habits until their children begin school. We believe that it is never too early to start oral hygiene! Using a baby toothbrush with water even for children under 1 year of age is a great way to begin a habit that will benefit your child for the rest of their lives.
Do Replace Your Toothbrush
Brushing your teeth with an old toothbrush can cause more harm than good. We recommend replacing your toothbrush every 3-4 months, or as soon as it begins to show signs of wear. Using a toothbrush that is damaged can cause injury or damage to the enamel of your teeth.
Do Schedule Bi-Annual Dental Exams
The best way to assess the condition of your teeth and your oral hygiene routine is to schedule bi-annual dental exams. During your time at our office, we will recommend adjustments to your routine and provide you with insight into the health of your teeth.
No matter your age, these twice-yearly exams help keep your smile bright and your teeth in optimal condition. Has it been a while since your last visit? Call us today!