Everyone knows that brushing your teeth twice a day is key to keeping them clean. Electric toothbrushes have made brushing much more effective, too, but even then you will miss bits of plaque between teeth and awkward parts of your mouth.
Aside from making regular teeth cleaning appointments with your dentist every year, you will need to bring a few new teeth-cleaning plays to your dental hygiene game. If you want to be really sure you’ve cleaned your teeth fully, try these tips below.
Flossing is great because it gets deep into the gaps between teeth. Daily flossing removes plaque and food particles that build up in these areas.
Plaque can start to develop as soon as a few hours after eating, and so if you miss something while brushing, the plaque can become near permanent. Over time, that can lead to gum disease, decay and cavities.
Next time you are at the store, pick up some dental floss and try to incorporate it into your routine after you clean your teeth.
Using a toothpick after eating follows the same line of reasoning as flossing. The added benefit is that using a toothpick is something you can do surrounded by friends over the dinner table — you don’t have to skulk off to the bathroom at home or take your floss out with you.
Toothpicks are great because you can start the process of cleaning your teeth as soon as you’ve finished eating. This stops any plaque building up from the bits of food stuck in your gums, and makes the rest of your teeth-cleaning routine so much easier for the rest of the day.
Charcoal is all the rage, from charcoal toothpaste to charcoal in the bristles of your toothbrush.
Why is charcoal the cool thing in dental hygiene? Well, charcoal is extremely abrasive, which means it is extremely effective at breaking up plaque and bad food particles. In particular, charcoal is great at cleaning stained teeth to leave brilliant, white teeth.
If you drink one too many coffees or teas a day, consider incorporating charcoal into your dental routine to brush away those stains. You’ll feel more confident, and it will please your dentist!
Don’t rinse after brushing
This is a very common mistake. After cleaning many of us want to get rid of the strong taste of toothpaste, so we rinse our mouths. Little do we know that we are actually hindering our dental hygiene.
When you clean your teeth using toothpaste, elements of the toothpaste linger on your teeth and continue working long after you’ve finished. In particular, fluoride sits on your teeth, working with calcium and phosphate to form a protective system against the development of cavities.
If you rinse after cleaning, you’ll rinse away the fluoride that strengthens your teeth for hours after you brush.
The same goes for mouthwash, but mouthwash is nowhere near as beneficial as toothpaste. However, mouthwash is still effective.
Use mouthwash in the middle of the day to fight any plaque or tartar that starts to build up before brushing.
Get your technique right
Cleaning your teeth twice a day is important, but you might have the technique wrong. Here are a few key things to remember.
- Make sure your arm is cocked at 45 degrees.
- If using a manual toothbrush, do not brush too hard on your gums: it can cause bleeding and rub parts of the gum away.
- To access the back of your back teeth, make sure to fully close your mouth while you clean your teeth.