Proper oral hygiene is important. It keeps your gums and teeth healthy and your smile bright. If you want to improve your habits this year, follow these eight tips.
1. Get a better toothbrush. Once the bristles on a toothbrush become frayed, they can’t do their job properly. To ensure your teeth are properly cleaned, change your brush every three months or as soon as you notice the old one is looking ragged. Opt for a soft-bristled brush that’s small enough to fit comfortably in your mouth. 2. Use the right technique. To make sure you’re brushing properly, use fluoridated toothpaste and hold your toothbrush at a 45-degree angle against the place your gums and teeth meet. Gently brush in small circular motions for at least two minutes, making sure to clean every surface of each tooth. 3. Consider switching to an electric toothbrush. If you struggle with getting the motions of brushing right or you wonder if the pressure you’re using is right, consider switching to an electric model. Those with rotating or vibrating heads do most of the work for you. 4. Floss every day. Flossing is as important as brushing. To do it properly, wind a length of floss around your fingers and gently glide it between each tooth, making sure to go as far under your gum as you can without causing pain. 5. Use mouthwash. Rinsing with an antimicrobial mouthwash for 30 seconds after you brush can help kill even more plaque-causing bacteria. 6. Eat tooth-healthy foods. You may already know that sugary and starchy foods are bad for your teeth, but did you know that there are foods that are especially good for your teeth? Dairy products like cheese and plain yogurt are rich in calcium, which is good for your teeth and bones. And, the fibres in crunchy, raw fruits and vegetables like carrots and apples act like miniature toothbrushes and clean your teeth as you chew. 7. Drink more water. Ending each meal with a glass of water will help to rinse away any food particles left in your mouth, helping to curb plaque buildup. 8. See your dentist twice a year. Your dental hygienist and dentist are your most important partners in keeping your teeth and gums healthy. See them every six months for a thorough cleaning and dental exam.
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