Is your daily oral hygiene routine stuck at the first, basic level of care? Now is a great time to reevaluate how you are cleaning your smile, and to make any necessary adjustments. In this short article our Saint Louis dentists are sharing some useful information regarding things that you can do to optimize your oral hygiene routine. Brushing better has never been easier!
When we ask our dental patients to describe their oral hygiene routines, they often say, “well, I brush in the morning and before bed, isn’t that what I’m supposed to be doing?” Yes it is! But, that’s really more of a starting point; there are a few things that you can do to improve efficacy of your daily cleaning routine:
Choose the appropriate bristles: as you go through the oral hygiene aisle at the store you will notice that there are brushes available with soft, medium, firm, and even extra firm bristles. You want to choose the softest brush you can without sacrificing cleaning ability. The firmer your brush’s bristles are the more likely it is that you’ll experience enamel thinning or gum tissue recession.
Swap out oral hygiene tools regularly: toothbrushes aren’t designed to last forever! Many people are surprised to learn that the ADA recommends replacing your toothbrush every two to three months. The bristles of your brush wear down over time, and they cannot buff away as much plaque as they used to.
Set a timer: we often talk about how often to brush—twice a day—but we rarely mention how much time you should spend cleaning your smile. In order to thoroughly clear away plaque and dental debris, you want to brush for a full two minutes both morning and night.
Use proper technique: since you are probably going to be spending more time brushing your smile—for the full two minutes—it is also important that make sure you are applying only gentle pressure to your teeth and gums. Vigorous scrubbing will lead to unsightly and uncomfortable damage.
Still have questions? Or need some personalized recommendations? Just contact our Saint Louis dentists to schedule a personal consultation with our team!