Your dental routine forms the foundation for your oral health. Every day, you have an opportunity to take care of your teeth and gums to support a beautiful and healthy smile. We all know the basics of a good oral care routine, which include brushing, flossing, and visiting your dentist twice a year. But what are some simple steps you could be missing that could make a big difference for your smile?
Waiting to Brush Your Teeth
While brushing your teeth first thing in the morning is always best, if you eat anything, it’s best to wait before brushing your teeth. Your tooth enamel is porous and can weaken when you eat foods that are high in sugar or acids. Therefore, brushing immediately after a meal can do more harm than good to your tooth enamel and could even result in enamel erosion over time.
So what should you do? Wait at least 30 minutes and up to an hour before brushing your teeth after a meal, particularly after eating something acidic .
Cleaning Your Tongue
Your tongue can harbor bacteria and plaque just like your teeth. Cleaning your tongue can help remove plaque and prevent plaque buildup, which can potentially help reduce bad breath and your risk for oral disease. Research shows that both brushing your tongue with your toothbrush and tongue scraping are both effective at reducing plaque in the oral cavity, so consider adding this simple step to your oral care routine .
Flossing Behind Your Back Teeth
Without a doubt, flossing is a crucial part of any dental routine. Flossing helps remove plaque and bacteria from those spaces between your teeth where your toothbrush can’t reach.
However, although flossing between your teeth is important, you should also be flossing on the back side of your last tooth . That’s right—even though this tooth doesn’t touch another tooth, it can be difficult for your toothbrush to reach this area.
Holding Your Toothbrush at an Angle
Of course, brushing your teeth is important, but the quality of your brushing matters. You should be holding your toothbrush at a 45-degree angle to your gums and brushing in smaller, circular motions for the best results . This technique helps you better clean the surface of your teeth and just below your gumline. Remember to always use a soft-bristled toothbrush and change your toothbrush head every three months to continue keeping your smile healthy.
Checking in With Your Dentist
Although dental care habits at home are necessary and imperative to your oral health, so is visiting your dentist. With a professional exam and cleaning every six months, your dentist supports your smile by keeping it clean and healthy to prevent tooth decay and gum disease. Do you implement these simple steps in your oral care routine? If not, consider making some of these changes for a healthier smile today!