Even if we’re already brushing twice a day and flossing every night, there are always things we can be doing to improve our dental routine. Here are three quick tips you can add to your dental routine to get a healthier smile without taking up a lot of time in your schedule:
1. Clean your tongue.
It seems like teeth get all the attention when we talk about oral health, but your gums and your tongue are also excellent places for bacteria to lurk, especially with the ridges your taste buds form on the top of your tongue. By just taking a few seconds to clean your tongue each time you brush your teeth you can significantly reduce the amount of plaque and unwanted bacteria in your mouth. You can use your toothbrush, although tongue scrapers are also available and they are ideal for the purpose.
2. Use an alcohol-free mouthwash before brushing.
Many people assume mouthwash should be used once they’ve finished brushing their teeth, but if you do it in that order, the mouthwash washes away all the fluoride from the toothpaste and can essentially undo a lot of the work you just accomplished by brushing your teeth. By using mouthwash before you brush, you loosen up a lot of the plaque that you can then finish off with your toothbrush and toothpaste.
When shopping for mouthwash, be sure to purchase one that does not contain alcohol. Saliva is your mouth’s natural mouthwash, but alcohol can dry out your mouth and prevent your saliva from doing its part in cleaning out germs and old food particles.
3. Hold the brush at a 45º angle when brushing.
It may be tempting to hold the brush parallel to your mouth when you brush your teeth, but you can actually miss a lot that way. Brushing at an angle gives the bristles of your brush a better opportunity to get into all those little nooks and crannies between your teeth and along the gum line.
As a final word of advice, make sure you always have a stockpile of dental hygiene products. You’re more likely switch out your toothbrush when you’re supposed to (every 3 months) and stick to your daily regimen if you have a ready supply of everything you need.
On the other hand, if you wait until you’re already at the end of your tube of toothpaste or roll of floss before adding it to your grocery list, you’ll be more likely to run out before you have a chance to grab more. A few days of missed flossing will not necessarily spell the end of your mouth’s health, but it could be enough to knock you off your routine and make it harder for you to get back on track after you’ve restocked your bathroom.
Following these three tips can significantly improve your oral health (and, by extension, your overall health) without requiring you to spend all day in the bathroom. Just a few seconds added on to your daily routine is all it takes to make a big difference.
If you want to keep your teeth healthy and strong, you must take care of them. At Simply Smiles Dentistry, we can show you how to properly care for your teeth. You will have a great smile that lasts a lifetime.
Until next time…Keep on Smiling!