Just like learning to ride your bike or tying your shoes for the first time, learning to care for your teeth was probably something that you learned at a young age. What if someone was to tell you now that you have been doing it all wrong? Maybe you didn’t have someone to teach you all the right tips and tricks. Or maybe you simply had to figure it out on your own. Well, who says “you can’t teach an old dog new tricks”?
Following these simple guidelines recommended by the American Dental Association could greatly improve your oral health:
- Brush for two minutes, twice a day: 98% of dental disease can be prevented by just following this common practice. Studies show that people who think they are brushing for two minutes are actually brushing for less than one!
- Don’t brush too hard: Plaque is soft and sticky. Scrubbing might feel like it’s doing a better job, but it may actually be causing more damage than good. Lightly brushing with a soft bristled toothbrush is all you need. Any calculus (hard deposits) that still remain should be removed professionally by your hygienist.
- Angle your brush at 45 degrees: When brushing manually, make tiny circles at the correct angle and you should be able to feel the bristles gently sweep under the gum line.
- Change your toothbrush regularly: This is not just for cleanliness. Over time, the bristles of your toothbrush may become bent or splayed which will no longer clean properly. We recommend getting a new brush every 3 months.
- Get in between your teeth: Brushing only gets 70% of the debris off of your teeth. Whether it’s using dental floss, a water flosser, or even just a toothpick, something is better than nothing. Most cavities start in those hard-to-reach areas and grow from there.
If one or all of these are new to you, it’s never too late to change your habits. Incorporating these handy guidelines into your daily oral health routine could make all the difference in the world.
If it’s been 6 months since your last cleaning, be sure to call our office in Boise, Idaho today for your cleaning and check-up with Dr. Dave! (208) 402-1040