When you think about keeping your mouth healthy, you likely consider the numerous dental appointments you have to schedule. While these appointments are essential, they are only tiny portions of your oral health. Maintaining a white smile and preventing dental health concerns result from your daily oral health habits.
Most people know regular brushing and flossing is the key to a sparkling smile. But other vital oral health habits will also improve your oral health. When you develop and practice a few simple habits, you can dramatically improve your oral health.
Develop Winning Oral Health Habits in Just 6 Weeks
Most people can benefit from putting more time and attention into their oral hygiene routine. The problem is they need to figure out where to begin. And we’re here to help!
At Valley Dental Clinic, our dentist in Wasilla, AK, created a challenge that anyone can accept.
In this challenge, you’ll create oral health habits to improve the condition of your mouth in six weeks. Each week, you’ll add a new oral health habit to your routine and create a new at-home care program for your smile.
You can complete it alone or do it with a friend or as a family. Try keeping a visual chart where you can track everyone’s success!
Week 1: Floss before brushing.
Did you know that 41% of Americans floss at least once daily, and 20% admit to never flossing? Daily flossing is one of the top ways to protect your teeth! But many people question whether they should floss before or after brushing their teeth.
While it may be surprising, brushing before flossing has numerous benefits. Not only does it help you get into the habit, but flossing loosens plaque, bacteria, and other debris between the teeth, making toothpaste more effective at removing plaque between the teeth. Once all the buildup is removed, it improves fluoride retention.
To achieve these results, you must use a proper flossing technique:
- Begin with approximately 18 inches of floss.
- Wind it around your middle fingers, leaving 1-2 inches to work with.
- Hold the floss tightly between your thumbs and index fingers and gently side it between your teeth using a rocking motion.
- Get below the gumline by creating a C-shape around the base of each tooth.
- Avoid forcing the floss between your teeth to prevent cutting your gum tissue.
- Use a clean section of floss each time you move to a new tooth.
When you remove the floss, use the same rocking motion to bring the floss up and away from your teeth.
Various floss, flossers, and interdental brushes are available, so consult your dentist in Wasilla, AK, to determine which works best for your oral health.
Week 2: Add cleaning your tongue.
Have you heard of tongue scraping? Brushing or scraping your tongue removes bacteria that cause bad breath and helps prevent cavities. Brushing or scraping your tongue encourages saliva production, which aids digestion and improves the flavor of your food.
Week 3: Pay attention to your brushing technique.
Every time you pick up a toothbrush, you should brush for two minutes, ensuring you get each side of every tooth.
When using a manual toothbrush, hold the bristles at a 45-degree angle and make 10 to 20 small circular strokes before moving on to the next set of teeth. When brushing to the tongue side, you may need to alter the angle for it to fit where it needs to be. Clean the chewing surfaces using the same small circular motions.
An electric toothbrush uses a similar process, including the 45-degree angle, but with less pressure. Hold the toothbrush on the tooth for 3–5 seconds and move throughout your mouth until you’ve brushed every tooth.
Week 4: Add proper time for brushing.
The best time to brush your teeth is before breakfast and bedtime. Brushing directly after eating can harm your enamel, especially after consuming something acidic. Wait at least 30 minutes before brushing to allow your enamel to remineralize and protect itself.
Week 5: Add more water to your diet.
Drinking plenty of water has more benefits than contributing to your oral health habits. It’s also good for your overall health. Increasing your water intake will improve your brain function and energy levels.
Water is also the best beverage for your teeth because it doesn’t contain sugar or acids that can harm your enamel.
Week 6: Book an appointment with a dentist in Wasilla, AK.
We all have busy schedules, and it can be challenging to remember to make necessary appointments for our health. While you’re creating good oral health habits, add this to your to-do list.
Visiting your dentist every six months for a cleaning and exam is crucial to maintaining your oral health. These visits help dentists detect and treat conditions early, making treatment less expensive.
Celebrate your oral health habits with Valley Dental Clinic.
Now that you’ve checked off your chart and have developed healthy habits, schedule a consultation and share your wins with Valley Dental Clinic. Contact us today!