Taking good care of your oral health should always be a priority. Still, precise care is especially important during times when you may not be able to visit your dentist regularly. By being meticulous in your oral hygiene routine and maintaining teeth-happy habits, you can help keep your smile in its best shape and avoid a mouth full of problems when you return to the dentist.
Be Thorough in Oral Hygiene
The best way to keep cavities, gum disease, and other oral health complications at bay is by sticking to a comprehensive oral hygiene routine.
Brush your teeth twice a day for two full minutes each time, being attentive about reaching every nook and cranny possible. Follow proper guidelines for teeth brushing, such as using circular motions and avoid using too much pressure to prevent enamel erosion and damage to your gums. Make sure you choose a toothbrush that’s the right size for your mouth, as well.
Toothbrushes can’t reach the crevices between your teeth or under your gum line, so it’s important to floss daily to frid your mouth of plaque and bacteria. You should be using a new piece of floss between each tooth, so you don’t spread food particles and the like from tooth to tooth. Don’t use too much force with your floss, as blunt pressure can lead to damaged gums. Instead, ease your floss into place, and then proceed as usual. If you have to apply extreme pressure to fit floss between your teeth, you may not be using the right floss type for you.
Don’t Forget About Your Tongue
The tongue is an often neglected part of oral hygiene routines, but they harbor tons of food particles and bacteria, meaning you should clean your tongue daily. Your typical toothbrush should be enough to cleanse your tongue properly, but additional tools such as tongue scrapers can also be purchased.
Keep Things Clean
If the tools you use to clean and care for your mouth are dirty, so will your mouth be. Every apparatus you put in your mouth should be maintained with care and replaced when necessary. Rinse your toothbrush after every use and place it somewhere free from contamination. While a toothbrush cover may seem like a good idea for cleanliness, enclosed spaces can actually promote bacteria growth- it’s best to keep your toothbrush upright instead and let it dry between uses. Generally speaking, you should replace your toothbrush with a new one every three months, but certain circumstances may require you to switch it out sooner.
If you have removable dental appliances such as a retainer or dentures, you’ll also want to be sure to cleanse and store them properly. Check out our guide on caring for removable dental appliances to learn more!
Steer Clear of Bad Habits
Just as good oral habits will keep your mouth healthy, bad oral habits can do the opposite. Tobacco use of any kind, including vaping and dip, puts you at risk for health complications such as gum disease. Even seemingly harmless actions such as chewing on pens could lead to broken teeth. Maintaining a stellar smile is just as much about what you don’t do as what you do.
Don’t Be a Stranger to Your Dental Team
While many dental practices are temporarily closed, except for emergencies, that doesn’t mean you’re all on your own. If you have questions or concerns about your oral health, reach out to your dentist for professional guidance. They’ll be able to assess whether you have a true dental emergency or give you advice if your oral issue isn’t urgent.