Few things can make as big of a difference to the health of your smile as your daily oral hygiene routine. When you care for your smile appropriately at home, you reduce your risk of developing cavities, gum disease, and aesthetic dental issues. Unfortunately, many of us become a little lazy about cleaning our smiles over time. Our Lincoln Park dentists are here to help you reassess your daily dental routine, and make changes for the better, if necessary!
The general recommendation of the American Dental Association is that patients brush their teeth twice a day, and floss at least once a day. Keep in mind that when you perform these tasks matters; it is most effective to brush your smile in the morning and at night before bed, and to flossing the evening directly before you brush.
Take a minute to analyze the tools that you are using to brush and floss every day. When choosing a toothbrush, you want to make sure that the head of the brush is small enough to fit into the back corners of your smile. Also, consider what type of bristles your toothbrush has. Did you know that medium and firm bristles are actually too abrasive for many patients, and can actually lead to enamel erosion? Most patients do well with a soft-bristled brush; ask your dentist if you aren’t sure what’s right for you!
A quick word about technique: when you are brushing, you want to move your toothbrush in small circular motions over the flat surfaces of your teeth. Do not apply too much pressure; it is better to brush gently for a sustained period of time than it is to brush aggressively. You want to brush your smile for at least two minutes every time that you brush; try setting a timer or listening to a two-minute song in order to keep track of the time.
When you’re flossing, start by cutting a long strip of floss. Then move down this strip as you go from tooth to tooth. Gently guide the floss down into the spaces between your teeth, extending as far into the gum tissue as you can comfortably go.
Many patients are surprised to discover just how much cleaner and healthier their smiles feel after they recommit to a strong at-home oral hygiene routine. If you want to learn more about caring for your smile at home, please feel free to contact our Lincoln Park dentists by phone or by using the Contact Us page on our site!