• Many people depend on their dental visits to keep their teeth healthy, while others assume that brushing their teeth a few times a week is good enough. Having a passive attitude about the health of your mouth only hurts you and your bank account. Instead of taking this passive approach, try taking control of your mouth’s health by having a more proactive approach to its maintenance.

    Brushing Technique

    Brushing your teeth involves more than just dragging your brush across the surfaces of your teeth twice a day. While brushing for two minutes, twice a day is the ideal, how you do it matters; a lot, actually. First, let’s talk about the toothbrush itself. Toothbrushes should be replaced every 3-4 months. If you brush your teeth hard, the bristles will splay out to the sides and won’t be very effective.  Brushing your teeth hard can also cause damage to your gums and to your teeth.  It also doesn’t matter if you use a manual toothbrush or powered brush. Both are capable of effectively removing plaque when used correctly.

    Use a soft bristled toothbrush to brush your teeth with a small amount of toothpaste applied to the bristles. Position the brush at a 45-degree angle to the gum lines and brush the teeth in a gentle circular motion. Work through the mouth in a methodical way, making sure you hit every area. The ideal number for making sure teeth are cleaned thoroughly of germs and left-over debris is at least ten strokes in each spot. It may take more time and focus on your molars in the back to make sure they are fully cleaned.

    Frequent Flossing

    It’s important that you don’t skip flossing every day. While it is just as important as brushing, it doesn’t have to be done more than once a day. It helps reduce gum inflammation and irritation by removing the particles of food and bacteria from between your teeth. Since your brush can’t reach these areas, flossing is the only way to get them clean.

    The best technique for flossing is to just make sure you go all the way down between the teeth, rubbing both sides of the teeth as you go up and down.  The type of floss doesn’t matter, just make sure it doesn’t break too easy and is comfortable to use. Whether you floss before or after brushing, just make sure you do it every day.

    Using Fluoride

    It’s a good idea to make sure you are using fluoride in your dental products. Whether it’s in your toothpaste, mouth wash, or both, it has been proven to make your teeth stronger and reduce the number of cavities. If you are trying to maintain your beautiful smile, include this key ingredient in your routine.

    Protecting Your Teeth

    There are other protections you can provide for your teeth every day to prevent them from damage. Some things to consider are:

    · Reducing the amount of sugary and sticky foods in your diet.

    · Limit the amount of acid you eat, especially from carbonated beverages. It weakens enamel.

    · Make sure you are getting enough calcium and vitamin D every day.

    · Wear a mouth guard during sporting events to prevent trauma.

    · If you grind your teeth, wear a night guard.

    These are all important things to implement into your daily routine, but there is one more vital step to keeping your mouth healthy and preventing damage; visiting your dentist twice a year. Getting a professional cleaning done and finding problems while they are small is the key to having a healthy mouth. Once you make the health of your mouth a priority, you will notice a difference in the way it feels and functions.