May 7, 2017
Time for true confessions. How long does it take you to brush your teeth? Half a minute? One minute? The American Dental Association (ADA) recommends brushing your teeth for at least two minutes twice a day, and we agree. The longer you brush, the more bacteria, plaque and debris you remove from your teeth and gums. That’s a good thing. The dentist in Taylor at Ace Dental has a few more ideas on how you can improve your at-home oral hygiene routine so you can take better care of your smile.
Brush Your Teeth Well
So brushing twice a day for two minutes at a time is the way to go. But what else can you do to ensure that your brushing routine is the best it can be? Here are some suggestions:
- Make sure your toothbrush has soft bristles, because hard bristles are more apt to scratch the enamel surface of teeth and irritate your gums
- Choose fluoride toothpaste that has the ADA seal of approval
- Don’t use more than a pea-sized amount of toothpaste because any more creates too much foam, which can keep you from brushing for two minutes
- Hold your toothbrush at a 45-degree angle to your teeth along the gum line
- Move methodically around your mouth brushing all the surfaces of your teeth
Floss Before Bed
Speaking of all the surfaces of your teeth—what about in between teeth? A toothbrush cannot remove plaque and debris from these narrow surfaces. That’s why flossing is so important. Without flossing, you leave behind bacteria that can excrete acids overnight. These acids can then go to work eroding tooth enamel and invading gum tissue. Ultimately, cavities and gum disease may develop.
When you floss, don’t be stingy—use about 18 inches so you can advance to a clean section as you move from one pair of teeth to the next. Gently guide the floss between two teeth, and move up and down and back forth as you press the floss against each tooth. Be sure to floss all the way down below the gum line and don’t forget about the space behind your last molars.
The food you eat impacts your general and oral health, so choose wisely. Eat a balanced diet of fresh fruits and vegetables, grains, protein and low-fat dairy products. Limit between meal snacks, and when you do need a nosh choose cheese, fruit, yogurt or peanut butter. If you have a sweet tooth, enjoy sugary treats with a meal or just before you brush your teeth.
Contact Our Office Today
Finally, be sure to schedule regular checkups at Ace Dental in Taylor so we can keep a close eye on your dental and oral health. To schedule a visit, call our office today.
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