Keeping your teeth in top shape requires a good oral hygiene routine. It is especially important now, as it is not as easy to get to your dentist at the moment. Although we are open for emergency cases and limited number of other patients, here are a few areas to work on that will help you to reduce your chances of having to see your dentist.
Although these tips might seem straight forward, you will be surprised at how many of these pitfalls you can fall into.
Brush your teeth for 2 minutes
The average amount of time people spend brushing their teeth is 45 seconds. However, the guided amount of time you should spend brushing your teeth is 2 minutes.
We bet that a lot of people think they are brushing for 2 minutes, but if you time it properly, you may fall short. Test it yourself… time yourself the next time you brush your teeth, and see how long 2 minutes actually feels likes.
The reason you need to spend 2 minutes brushing every time, is to ensure you have time to reach all areas in your mouth. Another really important reason is to allow the fluoride in your toothpaste enough time to stick to your teeth for protection.
If you are finding it hard to stick to two minutes, distract yourself… put on your favourite song, and set a timer to go off when your 2 minutes is up!
Don’t brush too hard
While it may feel like the right thing to do to ensure you are removing all plaque and food particles from your teeth, you may actually be doing damage to your teeth and gums.
A gentle circular movement will be more than enough to remove food particles and plaque build up without causing any harm.
Replace your toothbrush regularly
Like all daily use items, toothbrushes will experience wear and tear and will need to be replaced regularly. We recommend changing your toothbrush every 2-4 months. After this amount of time the bristles of your toothbrush will become frayed and broken. When this starts to happen, your toothbrush won’t be as effective at removing plaque from your teeth.
Regularly check the bristles of your toothbrush when you have it over two months, as it will need to be replaced soon.
Don’t use Hard Bristle Brushes
When you buy a toothbrush you have different bristle strength options; usually soft, medium, and hard.
We recommend using soft bristle toothbrushes. Medium and hard toothbrushes can cause damage to your gums, and remove the enamel from your teeth. This can causing issues down the line.
Soft bristle toothbrushes don’t damage the gums, but are just as effective at removing plaque, and food particles from your teeth.
Brushing Straight after acidic foods
It is recommended that you wait 30 minutes before brushing your teeth after a meal. This is because after you eat a meal, acid can stick to your teeth. This acid causes the enamel to soften slightly. If you brush your teeth at this time, you will start to remove the enamel on your teeth causing sensitive teeth.
Rinsing your mouth out with water after brushing
Rinsing your mouth out with water just after you finish brushing your teeth is not the right way to finish your routine. The water actually removes fluoride from your mouth, which acts as a protecting layer on your teeth.
When you are finished brushing your teeth, spit out the excess water/toothpaste, but don’t use water to rinse it out further.
Storing your toothbrush
Many people buy a case for their toothbrush to keep it away from germs. However, by storing your toothbrush in a container you are giving bacteria the perfect feeding ground.
When you are finished brushing your teeth, rinse your toothbrush well, and shake off any excess water. Store it upright in a cup or holder, making sure it isn’t touching off any other toothbrush.
Good dental hygiene starts at home. All of the above steps are easy to follow. Think about your own oral hygiene, and the areas that you can improve on.
If you are experiencing any issues, and have a dental emergency, don’t hesitate to get in touch with us. We are seeing emergency cases and a limited number of other patients from May 5th.