When it comes to oral hygiene, sometimes there’s a lot of confusion about what is actually a simple process, causing people to choose to neglect certain aspects of their dental hygiene because it’s “too much work.” However, maintaining good dental hygiene is a necessity to prevent cavities, gum disease and other dental disorders. If you’re not sure if you’re optimally keeping up with your dental hygiene, read on to find out what a good oral hygiene routine entails:
Practicing Oral Hygiene Correctly
Floss! — Dentists know that most people hate flossing and many choose not to do it. Regardless, flossing is a necessary component of any good oral hygiene routine. The American Dental Association (ADA) suggests that, unless instructed otherwise, you should floss at least once a day. Flossing ensures that you remove plaque and food from between the teeth and should be done before brushing to sweep this debris away.
Brush Twice a Day — If you want to attain optimal dental health, you should brush your teeth two to three times a day. Brushing less can mean that plaque is missed and will harden into tartar, while brushing more will begin to damage the enamel of your teeth. Studies have shown that most people tend to brush for only 17 seconds each time they brush. In reality, you should be brushing much longer — about two to three minutes every time you brush.
Mouthwash — Many people elect to use a mouthwash as part of their oral hygiene routine. Mouthwash can be useful in deterring the spread of plaque and preventing conditions such as halitosis. The most important fact about mouthwash usage is to not use it as a substitute for other oral hygiene steps such as brushing or flossing. If you use a mouthwash, don’t rinse out with water immediately afterward either — this can wash the fluoride out of your mouth, preventing the majority of beneficial effects mouthwash may have had!
Visit Your Dentist Regularly — There are just some things you cannot do alone, and maintaining stellar dental hygiene is one of them. Assuming you’re not a dental professional yourself, you likely don’t know all the dental ailments or their symptoms. In addition, tartar can be incredibly difficult to remove without the aid of a dental hygienist. After all, even dentists visit the dentist, so why shouldn’t you? Thus, you should visit your dentist regularly — which for most patients amounts to about every six months.
If you have any other questions about how to practice a quality dental care routine, or would like to schedule an appointment with our office, please contact Noble Smile Family & Cosmetic Dentistry today!