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Our Top 5 Tips for At-Home Oral Hygiene

In today's post, our Parksville dentists offer 5 tips that can help improve your at-home oral hygiene routine. Oftentimes our patients are not getting the most out of their at-home dental care, so this post is here to help rectify that.

Professional dental cleanings are important for removing built-up tartar on your teeth, and should not be replaced by only at-home care options. With that said, keeping a thorough at-home care regimen can help limit the build of that tartar between appointments significantly. These 5 tips for oral hygiene below can help take your at-home care routine to the next level.

1) Use a Timer

Almost certainly, you have heard that it is essential to brush your teeth twice a day for at least two minutes each time. While brushing their teeth, many individuals attempt to estimate how long two minutes is and end up underbrushing. Using a stopwatch or timer, such as those found on most smartphones, can make all the difference in ensuring that you brush your teeth for the proper amount of time.

Bonus tip: You can also try an electric toothbrush. Particularly useful are electric toothbrushes that have built-in timers and buzz or vibrate after they’ve been running for two minutes.

2) When Brushing, Think of Your Mouth as Having Four Quadrants.

A useful exercise for visualizing your teeth during brushing is to divide your upper and lower jaws into four equal sections mentally: upper left, upper right, lower left, and lower right.

Aim to spend approximately 30 seconds brushing the fronts, backs, and chewing surfaces of each tooth in one quadrant during your two-minute brushing session. This ensures that you are giving equal care to all of your teeth and not accidentally favouring certain teeth over others.

3) Try Pulling Your Floss into a C-Shape

Flossing is an important aspect of good oral hygiene. To get the most out of your flossing, you generally don’t want to just see the floss up and down between your teeth a couple of times.

For optimal results, one should form the floss into a C around each tooth and move it gently up and down the sides. Then, repeat the same steps on the other tooth by pulling the floss in the opposite direction to form a c-shape. Consider the letter C as embracing the tooth being flossed, bending around its shape.

This will help ensure that each tooth gets a careful cleaning.

4) Keep Your Floss in Plain Sight

If you tend to forget to floss after brushing your teeth, you’re letting bacteria and food particles linger in those tight areas. This can result in tooth decay and bad breath over time, so it really is important to try to remember.

If you have trouble remembering to floss, leave your floss in a place where you will be certain to see it. Keep it ideally close to your toothpaste and toothbrush. It may appear overly simple, but small adjustments like this can have a significant impact on your ability to form new habits.

5) Replace Your Toothbrush Regularly

Your toothbrush is a hardworking tool, and it will begin to wear down pretty quickly. You should replace your toothbrush every three months at a minimum, but more frequently if it starts to show wear sooner.

Examine your toothbrush closely to determine when it should be replaced. If the bristles are bent, frayed, or worn down, it is likely time to purchase a new toothbrush. Numerous toothbrushes have blue-coloured bristles. The blue will begin to fade over time, and you should replace your toothbrush when about half of the colour is gone.

For more tips on brushing and flossing, and how to get the most out of your oral hygiene routine, you can contact our Parksville dentists today.

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