While you’re busy decking the halls this holiday season, don’t forget to keep up your dental hygiene. You will be smiling, a lot, after all, as you spend precious time with friends and family. Don’t you want to make sure you keep your smile looking its absolute best? To make your teeth sparkle, and keep them healthy the whole year through, a dental care routine is crucial. Luckily, it’s very simple and fast to complete. With just a few minutes each day you can help keep your smile merry, bright and totally seasonal selfie ready between dental checkups.
Use Proper Brushing Technique
Most adults know they should brush their teeth twice a day, but many don’t know the proper techniques for brushing.
First, you should choose a soft-bristled tooth brush. Hard bristles can be too harsh and may even damage your teeth’s enamel. For this same reason, you should choose a non-abrasive toothpaste.
When it is time to brush, each morning and before bed each night, hold your toothbrush at a 45 degree angle to your gums, and brush gently in short, tooth-wide strokes, back and forth. Proper brushing should take two minutes, and should include brushing the fronts and backs of your teeth, as well as your tongue.
Forgetting to brush your tongue can lead to bacteria buildup, which can cause bad breath, even if your teeth, themselves, have been brushed clean, so don’t forget this important step.
Don’t Forget to Floss
Flossing is just as important as brushing, as part of a preventive care routine, and should be done once a day to help remove bacteria and food particles prone to buildup in the small spaces between teeth.
Start by selecting Nylon or PTFE floss. You’ll need about 18 inches of floss, which should be secured mostly around your middle finger. You only need an inch or two of floss, accessible, to use as you work.
You’ll need to hold the floss rather tautly between your thumb and index finger, then slide it up and down between the teeth, gently. Make sure to gently curve the floss around the teeth’s bases as you go. And make sure you don’t force the floss. It should glide easily. Forcing it can cause irritation of the soft gums. Also, be sure to use gentle movements when removing the floss as well.