Good oral hygiene habits are the best way to protect yourself against periodontal disease as well as cavities and other dental disorders. It also keeps your breath smelling pleasant, which is a priority for most of us.
Quality dental hygiene is a combined effort between you and your dental care provider. The goal is to keep your teeth and gums healthy and free from cavities, plaque, and bacteria. While you should see your dentist twice a year, it is also important that you make certain you are taking care of your mouth at home as well.
You can brush your teeth wrong, and many people are doing so every day. It isn’t uncommon to have a patient with periodontal disease confused as to how it could happen. After all, they brush twice a day, every day! But there are many small mistakes that can be made to compromise your health.
Your dentist can advise you on the right motions to use when brushing your teeth. Each person’s anatomy is different, which means that different motions may be more effective for different people. One technique that works for most individuals is to use a circular motion on just two teeth at a time, slowly moving to brush all teeth from all sides. Make sure to hold your toothbrush at a 45-degree angle as you do.
This is the step of oral hygiene that we all claim we do, but many do not both with until a few hours before they visit the dentist. However, daily flossing is vital to maintaining healthy teeth and gums. Flossing removes dangerous plaque from the gum line and increases blood circulation in your gums. If you want to keep your teeth for life, you need to be flossing every day, even twice a day.
Much like brushing, this is something that you can get wrong, even though it seems incredibly simple in theory. Using standard dental floss, there are two methods to choose from: spool and loop.
Take 18 inches of floss and wrap it lightly around the middle finger of one hand, leaving enough to wrap around the middle finger of the other hand while still having floss in the middle to use to clean your teeth. As you work, you can wind more floss around the second finger to get rid of the floss that has become dirty or is fraying. Use your thumb and index finger to place and maneuver the floss.
This method is good for children who are learning how to floss as well as those who have difficulty using their hands. Still using 18 inches of floss, this time you turn it into a circle. All fingers, except them thumb, are placed inside of the loop and your index fingers are used to guide the floss into your lower teeth. Your thumbs are used to guide it into the upper teeth.