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Our Top 5 Tips for At-Home Oral Hygiene

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

Professional dental cleanings are crucial when it comes to removing tartar buildup on your teeth, and should not be replaced by exclusive at-home care. That being said, keeping a thorough at-home care regimen can significantly help limit the build of that tartar between appointments. The 5 tips for oral hygiene below can help take your at-home care routine to the next level.

1) Think of Your Mouth as Having Four Quadrants When Brushing

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.

During your two minutes of brushing, aim to spend about 30 seconds brushing the fronts, backs, and chewing surfaces of all the teeth in one quadrant, before moving on to the next. This helps make sure you're giving all of your teeth equal care, and not accidentally neglecting some teeth in favour of others.

2) Use a Timer

It is beyond likely that you've heard before that it is important to brush your teeth twice a day for at least 2 minutes each time. Many people attempt to count how long 2 minutes is while brushing their teeth, but this often results in under-brushing. Using a stopwatch or timer, like the one found on most smartphones, can be the difference-maker in ensuring you brush for the correct 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, or even after every 30 seconds so you know to move on to the next quadrant of your mouth.

3) Try Pulling Your Floss into a C-Shape

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

For best results, one should pull the floss into a c-shape around a tooth, and gently move it up and down the sides. Then repeat the same steps on the other tooth by pulling your floss into a c-shape in the opposite direction. Think of the C as hugging the tooth being flossed, curving around its form.

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

4) Keep Your Floss Out in Plain Sight

If you tend to forget to when 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 is important to try to remember.

If you have trouble remembering to floss, start leaving your floss out in plain sight, somewhere you’re sure to see it. Ideally, keep it right next to your toothpaste and toothbrush. Although it may seem overly simple, but small changes like this can help create the habit of flossing.

5) Don't Forget to 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.

To help you determine when to replace your toothbrush, take a good look at it. If the bristles are bent, frayed or flattened, it’s probably time to get a new toothbrush. Many toothbrushes have blue bristles. The blue will start to fade over time, and when it’s about half gone you should replace your toothbrush.

Are you looking for more tips on how you can improve your oral hygiene? Contact our Tecumseh dentists for an appointment or consultation.

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Looking for a dentist in Tecumseh? We're happily accepting new patients at our dental clinic! Contact us to get started today. 

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