We all know that regular visits to a dentist are vital to the success of your dental health. Yet you’re only recommended to go to your dentist for a checkup twice a year; what about the other 363 days when you are left on your own to look after your teeth?
Maintaining a good dental hygiene pattern at home is the key to avoiding problems such as plaque formation, tooth decay, and gingivitis. You might think that following such a plan is relatively easy, and it can be if you know the proper techniques to clean your teeth. Yet far too many people fall short of adequately cleaning their teeth well enough to guarantee protection against dental problems. Paying an extra little bit of attention to exactly what you’re doing the next time you’re brushing might reveal some shortcomings in your own tooth-cleaning form.
Some Simple Steps to Follow
In order to ensure that you’re giving your teeth a thorough, everyday cleaning, it’s recommended that you follow these guidelines as part of daily oral health regiment:
- Use the right equipment: Your toothbrush should be soft-bristled so as to clean your teeth while not damaging your gums. Wash it thoroughly after every use, and keep it stored in a dry location in an upright position. Choose only fluoride toothpaste.
- Maintain proper form: Hold your toothbrush at an angle, with the bristled head meeting the pointed downward below where the gums meet the teeth. Brush the front, bottom, and back surfaces in a rhythmic motion, and also remember to brush the tongue.
- Frequency: It’s recommended that you brush a minimum of twice a day, although most dentists would encourage doing it after every meal.
- Mind the length: Most dentists recommend breaking off an 18 in. strand of dental floss. This gives you enough length to twist the strands around your middle fingers while controlling it with your thumbs and forefingers.
- Gently floss your teeth: Move the floss between your teeth in a back-and-forth pattern, making sure you don’t snap the floss into your gums.
- One at a time: Focus on one tooth at a time as you floss, while working from the gum line up towards the top of the tooth.
While proper oral care at home will help eliminate the need for frequent dental visits, remember that in order to achieve optimal dental health, such care must be supplemented by routine dental visits. Find dentists in your area who participate with your plan provider.