It’s no secret. To stay in good health, good dental care is essential. Not only are there obvious detriments like tooth decay if you don’t, poor dental care can have broader health impacts.
These tips can help you maximize your dental care regimen.
Brush properly and regularly
We all know brushing your teeth regularly is an important part of proper dental care. But you also need to brush them properly.
“Start with your brush at a 45-degree angle to your gums and use short back and forth strokes across the sides and tops of your teeth. Then, hold the brush vertically and use several shorter strokes to focus on the backs of your teeth of the front anterior teeth where plaque builds up often,” writes Jae Curtis for Colgate.
You should also use fluoride toothpaste to fight tooth decay.
Keep it clean
You’ll want to keep your toothbrush as clean as possible.
“Store your toothbrush in an upright position and allow it to air-dry until using it again. Try to keep it separate from other toothbrushes in the same holder to prevent cross-contamination. Don’t routinely cover toothbrushes or store them in closed containers, which can encourage the growth of bacteria, mold and yeast,” according to the Mayo Clinic.
Flossing can help fight plaque and keep gums healthy. But you want to do the best you can with it. Use plenty of floss and take it one tooth at a time.
Be gentle when flossing. “Guide the floss between your teeth using a rubbing motion. Don’t snap the floss into your gums. When the floss reaches your gumline, curve it against one tooth,” the Mayo Clinic points out.
Skip the midnight snack
Late night snacks can be tempting. But don’t have one after you brush.
“Brushing well may clear your teeth of bacteria and food particles, but if you eat a snack afterward, you’ll need to brush again before bed. Having a snack before sleep (without brushing) can allow food particles and sugar to remain on your teeth for too long, providing fuel for bacteria that feeds on it,” according to Curtis.