Elevate Your Smile With These 4 Oral Hygiene Habits

Oral Hygiene

Your smile is a reflection of your well-being so why not make a lasting impression with a radiant set of pearly whites? Sure, teeth cleanings from our Ann Arbor, MI, dentists are important, but what you do at home also matters. After all, our dentists can’t be with you every day to make sure you’re getting rid of plaque effectively.

Here are 4 essential oral hygiene habits that should be practiced regularly for a healthier smile.

1. Master Your Tooth Brushing Skills 

Our dentists, and many others, recommend that you brush your teeth at least twice a day and do so with fluoride toothpaste. It’s also important to use proper technique when brushing so that every tooth surface is clean and free from plaque.

If you brush your teeth poorly, it’s almost the same as if you didn’t brush them at all. To ensure a more in-depth clean, hold your brush at a 45-degree angle to scrub your gums and teeth at the same time. Don’t rush and move the toothbrush in gentle, circular motions. Remember to also brush before bed to remove accumulated plaque from the day.

Bonus tip: use an antiseptic mouthwash after brushing to wash your mouth out and clean hard-to-brush areas. If it has an ADA approved seal on it, you’re good to go!

2. Floss, Floss, Floss 

It’s not uncommon for many individuals to push flossing to the side and ignore it altogether. When people do manage to floss, however, they only do so to remove pieces of food left behind. Our dentists advise you to shake this habit of neglect.

Flossing at least once a day is just as important as brushing your teeth. Picking up the floss and working your way in between every tooth stimulates the gums, reduces plaque, and lowers inflammation in the area. If you need guidance, we can offer tips on better flossing during your next oral exam.

Together, brushing and flossing are the perfect pair to aid you in the fight against gum disease.

3. Always Clean Your Tongue 

You’re primarily told to care for your teeth and gums but it’s also important that you don’t forget about your tongue. Plaque does not discriminate and can build up similarly on your tongue if not cleaned regularly. This can result in bad mouth odor and other related oral health issues.

An easy way to combat foul breath is to gently brush your tongue every time that you brush your teeth. You’ll find that even this small adjustment will help the smell and rid your tongue of harmful dental plaque. If you want something that isn’t your toothbrush, there are tongue scrapers, which are soft, flexible plastic tools designed to clear away debris.

4. Hydrate With Water and Eat Healthy 

You’d be surprised what a well-balanced diet and drinking water will do for your oral health. Choosing water throughout the day over other beverages like sodas or acidic juices will keep unwanted sugar from just sitting on your teeth. Instead, water will wash away food debris and help you fight dry mouth every time you reach to take a sip.

Fruits and vegetables also work wonders not only for your mouth, but for your body as a whole. Fresh, crunchy produce are excellent sources of fiber and deliver a needed workout for both your teeth and jaw. If you wish to consume sweets, try to do so in moderation and remember to brush your teeth thoroughly before bed.

Stay on Top of Your Teeth Cleanings

Are you due for your next cleaning with our dentists in Ann Arbor, MI? There’s no shame in going beyond the 6 month mark if you’ve forgotten, but it is beneficial to get in to see our team as soon as possible. Call Excel Dental today at (734) 929-9999 to request an appointment.