July 11, 2021
Brushing, flossing, and rinsing are all key components of a good oral hygiene routine, but is your mouth as healthy as you think it is? Oftentimes, no matter how diligent you are at maintaining good dental habits at home, there are certain steps you may be skipping that can negatively impact your teeth and gums. A dentist in Richardson is here to help you keep these 4 oral hygiene tips in mind to ensure a healthier, more beautiful smile.
Replace Your Toothbrush Every 3 Months
It is recommended by the American Dental Association (ADA) and your dentist that you replace your toothbrush every 3 months or sooner if the bristles are frayed. While this might seem quite often, the truth is that the bristles on your brush can serve as a haven for bad bacteria. If you become sick and continue to use your toothbrush, you can transfer germs back into your mouth, causing you to remain ill. If you use an electric one, all you need to do is replace the brush head. If using a manual brush, pick up a new one the next time you’re at the drug store. It’s as simple as that!
Don’t Forget About Cleaning Your Tongue
Is it vital to clean your teeth and gums? Yes. What about your tongue? Of course! Bad bacteria can easily form and grow on its surface, resulting in halitosis, otherwise known as bad breath. If you do not have one, invest in a tongue scraper to help keep this large muscle clean and germ-free. If you prefer to not spend the extra money on your at-home dental care, simply make sure that you’re brushing your tongue during your morning and nighttime ritual.
If Flossing is a Struggle, Try a New Way
If you struggle to floss with traditional methods, try out a new one. Floss threaders or even a water irrigator can make the process much easier. A Waterpik pushes water out and between your teeth to remove any food particles and bad bacteria that might try to burrow into the crevices and cause problems. A floss threader can help you to get beneath permanent retainers and in-between teeth that sit close together. Not only are these solutions effective, but they make it less likely for you to be “too hard” on your soft oral tissues.
Let Your Toothbrush Air Dry
Are you guilty of keeping your toothbrush in a drawer? Do you regularly place a protective cap over the brush head? While these actions have good intentions, the truth is that you can cause more bacteria to grow on your brush. It’s best to let your toothbrush air dry after you’ve finished cleaning your teeth. After you’ve thoroughly rinsed it with water, it should remain upright and separate from other toothbrushes. This prevents any possible cross-contamination and ensures that mold, bacteria, and other harmful particles do not start to grow.
By keeping these oral hygiene best practices in mind, you’ll be doing more to better protect your smile and keep your teeth looking and feeling their best.
About the Practice
At McDougal and Richards Dentistry, we want you to enjoy a happier, healthier smile. To do this, there are a few key steps you should take to ensure your teeth and gums are thoroughly cleaned and protected each day. While pursuing preventive care by seeing your dentist twice a year is important, so is practicing proper oral hygiene at home. Our expert team is here to provide the help you need to worry less and instead, fully embrace a cavity-free smile. If you or a loved one are interested in learning more about ways you can take better care of your teeth and gums, contact us at (972) 231-5376.
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