One essential component of proper oral healthcare is brushing and flossing at least twice a day. These simple activities eliminate plaque and food particles from building up on and around the teeth, which staves off conditions like tooth decay, gum disease, and cavities.
Unfortunately, not everyone brushes and flosses the right way. Using a worn our toothbrush or being too hasty in your ministrations can result in poor oral hygiene and health. To improve your brushing and flossing to avoid common issues, follow these simple tips.
How long do you keep your toothbrushes? Three months? Six? An entire year?
Replacement needs to happen every 3 or 4 months or once the bristles start to become worn. At this point, the head is no longer effective and is incapable of reaching the plaque and food particles in the mouth.
The other problem of keeping a toothbrush too long is bacteria will build up on it. These bacteria can get in the mouth and actually increase your likelihood of oral infections or decay.
How long do you spend brushing your teeth?
Chances are it is not the two minutes generally recommended.
When you brush your teeth rapidly and avoid spending time actually getting into the crevices of your smile, you skip over areas of plaque and leave behind bacteria. To improve your habits, count to 60 seconds twice while brushing and focus on all areas of the mouth.
Flossing is unpleasant for many people. If you do not do it often enough, you can cause bleeding and irritation. However, plaque becomes trapped between the teeth, so flossing is still an important step.
To get the most out of your flossing, drag the string down and to the left and right. You want to get the sides of both teeth, not just one. Also, do not swallow the plaque or food particles you remove. Too much plaque in the body has been linked to conditions like high blood pressure and heart disease.