You already know that you should brush twice daily and floss each night to keep your teeth healthy and your smile bright. Did you know, however, that technique counts? You could be brushing but not getting your teeth as clean as you could be. Read on for tips on how to perfect your oral health regimen by picking up these good habits.
Brush for Two Minutes
If you’ve ever timed yourself brushing your teeth, you might have been surprised at how quickly you got the task accomplished. In this case, however, quicker does not equal better. You should spend two full minutes brushing to allow yourself to get to every surface of your each tooth. You can set a timer, play a song, or hum “Twinkle Twinkle Little Star” four times.
Use Floss Properly
If you’re just snapping it between each tooth and calling it good, you’re probably not doing a very effective job flossing. You need to consciously move the floss along the inner edges of each tooth. This requires two passes in each space; first up and down the edge of the tooth closer to your midline, then up and down the edge of the tooth closer to the back of your mouth. Also, be sure to use a clean piece of floss for each space to avoid spreading bacteria around your mouth.
Clean Your Tongue
With lots of nooks and crannies, your tongue is prime bacteria real estate. Use a tongue scraper to clean your tongue each time you brush. You can also just use your toothbrush. Be careful; there’s no need to gag yourself.
Take Care of Your Toothbrush
Rinse your brush well after each use and allow it to air dry. Don’t put a cover on it; that can cause mold or bacteria to grow. Yuck! Change your toothbrush every three months or after you’ve had a cold or the flu.
See your dental hygienest every six months so he or she can evaluate your oral health regimen and check for decay or areas of gum inflammation. By perfecting your technique, you can keep your teeth for many years.