The new year signals a time for new goals, resolutions, and habits. Many people focus on health this time of year, aiming to exercise more, consume fewer calories, or even add more fruits and vegetables to their plates. But, if you aren’t resolving to focus on oral health too, you could be missing an important part of the health picture.
With that in mind, here are some dental care tips from your Shreveport dentist to enhance your routine in 2019.
Refresh Your Technique
Most people don’t pay much attention to their brushing technique. However, using the wrong amount of pressure or an improper angle can actually harm your gums.
When you brush, make sure to hold the bristles at an angle. If you have a manual toothbrush, use gentle and short back-and-forth motions, keeping the pressure light and allowing the tips of the bristles to skim across your teeth and along the gumline.
Electric toothbrush users don’t have to worry as much about the back-and-forth as the brush does most of that work. Instead, just slowly guide the brush head across your teeth and gumline, making sure to touch every surface.
When you floss, your technique matters too. Take it one tooth at a time and gently slide the floss between your teeth, all the way into the space where your tooth and gum meet. Carefully slide the floss along the side of one tooth, using an up-and-down motion, then do the same on the side of the other tooth. Repeat the process for each tooth.
Don’t Rush the Brush
Simply brushing twice a day isn’t enough. You have to dedicate enough time to the process to do a thorough job. Luckily, it doesn’t take as long as you would think to brush properly.
Instead of rushing through your twice daily brushing, make sure to take at least two minutes. If you use an electric toothbrush, keeping track of the time may be easy. Many brands shut off automatically after two minutes pass. Otherwise, a simple kitchen timer can work in a pinch.
However, if the two minutes go by and you haven’t touched every tooth surface, keep brushing until you do. Increasing the duration of your brushing routine by a minute or two doesn’t do any harm if you are using the proper technique.
Keep Your Dental Appointments
Your regular dental checkups are an essential part of your dental care routine. Aim to visit your Shreveport dentist every six months to keep your oral health in shape. This ensures you get professional cleanings regularly as well as x-rays and other services that can help keep your smile radiant and healthy.