Healthy, beautiful bright teeth are indeed something to behold. A dazzling smile has a way of starting conversations, opening doors to new opportunities, and exuding confidence like no other personal trait.
The rub is that healthy smiles just don’t magically appear. They’re the result of making a commitment to embracing proper dental hygiene habits throughout your lifetime.
In this blog, Nate Gunning, DDS, and the professional dental team at Signature Smile Dentistry share their thoughts on the five dental hygiene habits to embrace that will not only keep your teeth and gums healthy but also make your smile look radiant.
It is never too late to reset dental hygiene habits
Most of us got a healthy lesson about the importance of dental hygiene from our parents — nightly. The question “did you brush your teeth?” probably still echoes somewhere in the recesses of our brains today.
Despite knowing a lot about what we should do to keep our teeth healthy, though, somewhere along the way we may have gotten a little lax about doing it. Since oral health and overall health are connected, being vigilant about your dental hygiene habits can impact not only your oral health but your overall health as well. So even if your dental hygiene routine has gone to the wayside, stepping up your oral care can make a huge positive impact.
#1 Brush twice a day
The foundation of a strong dental hygiene routine is proper at-home oral care. The quintessential habit that tops the dental hygiene list is brushing your teeth at least twice a day with fluoride toothpaste. Ideally, brush first thing in the morning before breakfast and before you go to bed. Hold the toothbrush at a 45-degree angle, and start brushing along the gum line. Remember to brush all the teeth’s surfaces. During each session, brush for at least two minutes.
#2 Floss daily
Flossing goes hand-in-hand with brushing because it cleans in places that a toothbrush can’t reach. Many people prefer to floss before brushing to first remove food particles and plaque between teeth. If you find that string floss is difficult to work with, there are a wide variety of flossing picks available from your local drugstore. You can even purchase electric water flossers. Experiment until you find the flossing technique that works best for you, and then stick with it.
#3 Don’t forget to clean your tongue
Top off your flossing and brushing routine nightly by gently cleaning your tongue with a tongue scraper. Tongue scrapers are available from the drugstore. Some toothbrushes are also equipped with a tongue scraper on the back. It may seem awkward at first, but don’t think about it, just do it. A nice side benefit of cleaning your tongue is that it also freshens your breath.
#4 Replace your toothbrush regularly
Using the right equipment for the job also applies to oral care. For dental hygiene that means your toothbrush. Make sure you choose soft bristles and the right size toothbrush to allow you to brush properly. Look for a compact size for smaller mouths, and don’t forget to replace your toothbrush — or toothbrush heads if you use an electric toothbrush — every three or four months.
#5 Visit your dentist twice a year
The best way to cap off a solid at-home dental hygiene routine is to make (and keep) twice a year visits with your dentist. During your biannual visits, you not only get a thorough professional cleaning, where your provider removes any built-up plaque or tartar, but he’ll also check for signs of periodontal disease and tooth decay.
And it’s not just about your oral health. During your dental visit, your provider can pick up on other health issues. Since more than 90% of all systemic diseases, like kidney and heart disease, diabetes, and cancer, have symptoms like mouth ulcers, dry mouth, and gum issues, a trip to the dentist has the potential to save your life as well as the health of your gums and teeth.
To learn how you can step up your dental hygiene habits, contact Nate Gunning, DDS at Signature Smiles Dentistry in Parker, Colorado for a consultation. To book an appointment, call us at 720-738-3832, or request an appointment online.