“To floss or not to floss?” That is the question, and most everyone knows the correct answer.
The next questions are when to floss, how to floss, and how long to floss. These and other common questions about dental hygiene will be answered right now!
Too Much Of A Good Thing
We’ve all heard you can’t be too rich or too thin, but when it comes to brushing your teeth, you actually can do too much. This means too many times a day, and for too long a time. It is recommended that we brush twice a day for approximately two minutes with each brushing.
Some folks think they need to brush immediately after every meal or snack. Too much brushing, particularly right after a meal, is actually more detrimental to your oral health. The acids and sugars make our enamel soft and it’s possible to wear it down and damage gums if you rush to brush.
Sometimes it’s just better to swirl some water in your mouth.
Forgetting The Scrape
In case no one ever told you, it is beneficial to scrape your tongue. In fact, tongue scraping has multiple purposes including removing bacteria, helping to avoid bad breath, and even activating digestion. A good rule of thumb is to scrape before you brush.
Using The Wrong Toothbrush
If you always reach for the hardest toothbrush you can find, you’re probably wrecking your gums. It is always better for your teeth and gums to use a soft, (or medium) toothbrush. Using hard bristles can damage gums and actually does not do a better job than a soft toothbrush.
You also need to replace your toothbrush every so often. Another good rule of thumb to follow is when you see the bristles getting curly on the ends, it’s time for a new one.
Poor Flossing Technique
There is a way to floss that makes the most of your time doing it, and it’s not just pulling the floss back and forth between teeth, which is a huge time waster!
Instead, think of a C maneuver. The floss should sweep around the tooth getting to three sides and then move on to the next tooth. This way you are reaching the plaque and other parts of teeth the brush can’t always get to, and at the same time cleaning under the gums.
Forgetting To Keep Your Mouth Wet
Adequate hydration is important for the health of your entire body, including your mouth.
Having a dry mouth can cause bacteria to grow more quickly, leading to tooth decay and bad breath. Certain medications can cause dry mouth, so drink up or talk to East Village Dental Arts if you start to notice symptoms of dry mouth that linger even after you’ve made sure to drink enough water.
Improper Care Of Your Toothbrush
Do you throw your toothbrush in a drawer or just leave it on the bathroom counter when you are finished brushing? If so, you constantly encourage bacteria to attack your brush, and yourself. Best practice is to leave it in a stand upright so water will drip off and it will air dry.
Oral hygiene is important at every single age. We all want sweet smelling breath, bright white teeth, and a clean mouth, so make it a point to correct those dental hygiene mistakes you are making.
Contact East Village Dental Arts to schedule your next dental cleaning or wellness exam.