The new year often represents both a time for reflection and a fresh start. People outline their goals for the coming year and make plans that will help them lead happier, healthier lives.
But, if you haven’t reviewed your dental care routine recently, you could be missing an important part of the overall picture. Poor brushing and flossing techniques can actually cause harm, damaging delicate gum tissues or missing areas that need to be cleaned, increasing the odds of cavities, gum disease, and more.
If you want to make sure you start the new year off right, here are some tips from your Plano dentist for making sure your dental care routine is on point.
Use the Right Technique
When most people brush and floss, they go on autopilot. Few are actually paying attention to their technique, and that means they could be using the wrong approach. Luckily, brushing and flossing the right way isn’t difficult.
Whether you use a manual or electric toothbrush, make sure to keep the bristles at a slight angle and only apply gentle pressure. The goal is to let the tips of the bristles skim across your teeth and gums, not to aggressively scrub them.
Manual toothbrush users want to short back-and-forth motions as they brush their teeth and gums, making sure the hit every tooth surface and pay special attention to the gumline. Electric toothbrush users can simply guide the brush along as the automatic motions make the back-and-forth movement less important.
Flossing is another activity that should be gentle. Take one space at a time, moving the floss carefully between the teeth and then using up-and-down motions to slide the floss along the side of the first tooth, then the second. Repeat the process until both sides of every tooth have been handled.
Don’t Rush Your Brushing and Flossing
In total, your entire oral healthcare home routine should take between two and five minutes. A thorough brushing usually only requires two to three minutes time to do properly.
If you have an electric toothbrush with an automatic shutoff, the timer is usually set at the two-minute mark. Just brush until the brush turns off unless you still have some surfaces to clean (then just turn it back on and keep brushing until you are done).
Manual toothbrush users can use a kitchen timer if they want to make sure they are brushing long enough. You can also pick a song that lasts between two and three minutes and play it as a guide.
See Your Plano Dentist
Keeping up with your dental appointments is a crucial part of your dental care routine. If you haven’t had a professional cleaning in the last six months, schedule an appointment with your Plano dentist today. They can give you a thorough cleaning and exam, ensuring your mouth remains healthy this year and beyond.