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Man brushing teeth after learning about oral health tips

Tips for Better Oral Health

You’ve been taking care of your oral health for most of your life and there’s a good chance it’s become such a habit that you’re just going through the motions. However, you might not be using the best oral hygiene techniques, which means you’re not spending your time as efficiently as you thought. Brush up on your dental health with some tips and you’ll enjoy the results.

Proper brushing technique

While you may know about and practice brushing your teeth twice a day, are you sure you’re doing it right? You need to brush for at least two minutes to do an effective job keeping your teeth and gums clean and preventing cavities and gum disease. Here are some other basic brushing guidelines from the American Dental Association:

  • Proper tools – Use a soft-bristled toothbrush and fluoride toothpaste when you brush. Make sure the toothbrush fits your mouth comfortably and consider using a power toothbrush than can help reduce plaque better than a manual brush.
  • Good technique – When you hold your toothbrush, use an angle that aims the bristles where your teeth meet your gums, then gently brush back and forth on the inside and outside of chewing surfaces. Don’t forget to brush your tongue too.
  • Clean equipment – Rinse your toothbrush with water after using and store it upright so it can dry. Avoid storing toothbrushes in closed containers because that encourages bacteria growth.
  • Regular replacement – Replace your toothbrush or the head on your power toothbrush every 3-4 months or sooner if you’ve been sick or if the bristles are fraying.

Proper flossing procedure

No matter how you brush (and brushing harder isn’t recommended) you can’t reach the spaces between your teeth and below the gum line without flossing. Flossing daily is a chore many people don’t do, but it’s important for great oral health. To get the most out of flossing, follow these helpful tips.

  • Adequate floss – Pull out and break off a piece of floss 18 inches long, wind most of it around the middle finger on one hand and the rest around the middle finger on your other hand. Hold the floss securely between your forefingers and thumbs so it’s easier to guide.
  • Work gently – Gently and carefully guide the floss between your teeth with a rubbing motion down to the gumline, then curve it against a tooth and rub the side up and down. Pull out fresh floss for each tooth.
  • Persevere – If it’s difficult to floss with normal floss, try an interdental cleaner, waxed floss, or oral irrigator to clean between your teeth.

Whether you brush or floss first is a matter of preference but flossing first can help more fluoride from your toothpaste reach in between your teeth. Along with brushing and flossing, consider adding an antimicrobial mouthwash to help remove more bacteria from your entire mouth.

Signs that you need to visit the dentist

Along with regular brushing and flossing, you also need to have dental exams and cleanings to promote great oral health. If you notice any of the following signs of trouble, contact your dentist immediately to seek treatment.

  • New sensitivity to cold or hot
  • Tender, swollen, or red gums
  • Bleeding gums while flossing or brushing
  • Permanent teeth that are loose
  • Constant bad breath or unusual taste in mouth
  • Changes in bite
  • Receding gums

By following these basic oral health care tips, seeing your dentist regularly, and addressing any problems quickly, you can protect your teeth and gums and enjoy a lifetime of healthy smiles. Contact Dupont Dental today to set up an exam and cleaning.

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