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You’ve been taking care of your teeth since you were little. Lets face it, one of the first things we do for ourselves as little ones is brush our own teeth. It’s one of the few routines we start super early and continue all the way through our lives. The problem with routines, though, is that they tend to keep us walking on the same tracks without changing potentially bad habits. Mechanically brushing, flossing once in awhile, and rinsing with mouthwash only when the situation calls for it could result in costly trips to the dentist. It seems like an easy task, but learning about better brushing techniques, and dental habits can help you to have more healthy teeth and whiter, brighter smiles.
#1 Floss right
A lot of people seem to think flossing is for the privileged few; those with sparkling smiles and an electric toothbrush, those who have several minutes to spare on cleaning every single part of their mouth. We should all have these minutes to spare, by the way, and it should be done at least once a day.
While you might feel like your brushing routine gets the job done, the truth is that they’re not able to clean between teeth. If you stick to brushing and ditch the floss, you’re actually just cleaning the surface of your teeth and might end up with a foul smelling mouth – it’s the kind of thing we’d want to avoid.
Did you know that you should floss before you brush? When your mouth is still somewhat dry and not covered in toothpaste traces, it’s easier for the string to get a proper hold of the bacterias and leftovers between your teeth. It’s not enough to meaninglessly pull the thread back and forth, though, and using the right flossing technique is alfa omega to healthy gums and teeth.
When you have your floss ready, work your way all the way up to the side of your tooth, as if you’re almost wrapping it around its side. That way, you’re able to clean the gums surrounding the tooth as well as removing some of the plaque on the side. Roll the thread around your index finger for better control and start cleaning.
#2 Brush right
Most of us feel quite confident about the way we brush. We’ve done it for so long, after all, it’s like second nature. The sad reality is that most people don’t brush well enough at all; they don’t clean their teeth in circular motions, they fail to clean every surface of their teeth, and certainly don’t angle their toothbrush well enough to get in between the gum line.
While you’re at it, you should also give your tongue a quick scrub, as well as the roof of your mouth – a lot of bacterias live there who will make your breath stink if you allow them to stay. You need to spend at least two to three minutes on brushing to ensure you’ve got each area covered, and a lot of dentists also recommend that you don’t rinse your mouth when you’re done.
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Fluoride is ideal to keep your teeth strong and healthy as they form a protective layer after brushing. When you rinse your mouth at the end, you’re just spitting it all out instead. There is, in fact, two sides of this argument; while one study found that rinsing after you brush may reduce the effect of the fluoride, another study found that rinsing had minimal impact on its effect. Once again, science can sometimes end up confusing us more than fully informing. Another way to stop rinsing your mouth after brushing without having to swallow mouthfuls of toothpaste leftovers the following hour is simply to use less toothpaste.
If you’ve landed on the option of rinsing with mouthwash to contain that effective fluoride feeling, you’d want to find the right bottle for you. Most of those you find in the grocery shop will work just fine – but try to find one that doesn’t contain alcohol. Alcohol tends to dry things out, be it your skin or your mouth. You don’t want any ingredients to things out as saliva helps to keep it clean.
Rinse according to the instructions on the bottle, usually for around twenty seconds, and enjoy the benefits of a great smelling mouth. They won’t necessarily make your teeth any whiter, even though a lot of them claim to do just this. If this is what you’re looking for in a product, you should have a chat about it with your dentist first and then have a look at the best teeth whitening strips you can find. Although both toothpaste and mouthwash often boast about their whitening effects, the truth is that toothpaste and mouthwash are not designed to be left on for that long.
#4 Food and Drinks
Let’s go back to basics and brush up on our sugar knowledge. You know that refined sugars are bad for your health, for your teeth, and for living an independent and sugarless life – but most people keep drinking it in any way. Fizzy, sugary drinks, often with a lot of caffeine are unable to hydrate you the way you deserve. Ban sodas from your diet and enjoy a glass of orange juice once in awhile. It might not be the best for your teeth, but it’s a better option for your health.
Rinse your mouth with water quickly after having a glass of something sour or caffeinated, but whatever you do, don’t brush your teeth right after a glass of juice. The acid is bad news for your teeth, alright, so you don’t want to damage them further with aggressive brushing when they’re still trying to recover. Stick to water for the next thirty minutes, and then you’re allowed to brush them.
So, we know now what kind of foods and drinks we should avoid to keep our teeth strong and healthy. Luckily, you can bite into a few others that will actually be good for you. A lot of crispy fruits and vegetables are excellent for a quick wash in the middle of lunch, so make sure you pack a few of these.
Celery, for example, contains mostly water and the crunch makes them both fun to eat and able to clean the surface of your teeth while you’re chewing. If you’re not a big fan of the green stalk, you can always try your luck with an apple or a carrot instead. They work the same way – plus, the abrasive skin of apples makes them even better at cleaning than most other fruits.
Use these simple, easy tips for a better dental routine, and healthy teeth throughout your life. Maybe even less trips to the dentist, but no guarantees.