While it’s good practice to brush twice and floss once every day, such a routine may not be enough to keep your teeth and gums healthy. Thankfully, there are additional habits you can observe to enhance your dental hygiene regimen.
Below, family dentist Dr. Tamatha C. Pantano, DMD shares 6 ways you can improve your dental hygiene routine to ensure your mouth is as healthy as possible.
1. Floss properly
Flossing removes debris and plaque from the 40% of your teeth’s surfaces that are inaccessible to toothbrushes, so it’s essential you know how to do it correctly. As such, make sure to go under the gums and use the C-shape when flossing. Be gentle during the activity, however, as excess pressure can damage the gums.
2. Floss before brushing
Flossing dislodges food particles stuck between your teeth, making them easier to remove with a toothbrush. For this reason, it’s a good idea to floss before brushing. You should also remember to gargle afterward, as this will wash away debris and bacteria.
3. Brush your tongue
Your tongue is home to millions of bacteria that can cause plaque buildup and bad breath. Get rid of these bacteria by brushing your tongue gently every time you brush.
4. Use mouthwash
Rinse your mouth with mouthwash—specifically one containing fluoride—to get rid of unwanted bacteria and keep your teeth strong.
5. Bring a toothbrush everywhere you go
You never know when you’re going to have a meal that’ll leave a bunch of food particles lodged between your teeth. Keep a toothbrush and toothpaste in your bag so you can brush anywhere, anytime you need to. Alternatively, you can keep these items where you work or any other place you usually spend a lot of time at.
6. Use an electric toothbrush
An electric toothbrush can prove more effective at removing plaque and food particles than your typical toothbrush. You don’t even have to do the regular brushing motion; simply move the brush along with your teeth and let it do the brushing for you automatically. Some even feature a timer to encourage you to observe the recommended brushing time of 2 minutes.
Incorporating the above strategies in your daily oral hygiene regimen is essential to keeping your mouth clean and healthy.
We also strongly recommend visiting your dentist at least twice a year, as they’re armed with the knowledge and technology to discover and prevent issues before they become too serious or fix any problems you may already be experiencing.