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South Asian man brushing teeth in front of mirror.South Asian man brushing teeth in front of mirror.

9 Habits to Improve Your Oral Hygiene Routine

By: BeSeen Team

Date: April 19, 2023

Keeping your pearly whites clean means more than just brushing after every meal. After all, your mouth comprises other things apart from your teeth. Neglecting your oral health may lead to tooth decay, gum disease, and even heart ailments and poor self-esteem. And all you needed to do was brush up on your teeth-cleaning game.  

Here are nine ways to upgrade your oral hygiene routine from good to great. You can incorporate them easily into your daily routine because dental care shouldn’t be that hard. 

1. Brush Properly but Not Aggressively 

Woman with curly hair smiling and brushing her teeth in front of mirror.
Give your teeth some TLC by switching to a toothbrush with softer bristles.

Everyone knows you should brush twice a day – but did you know that overbrushing can do more harm than good? You can damage your gums and tooth enamel. Brush your teeth when you get up and then before you go to bed. In the middle of the day, opt for floss, quick rinse, or drink a lot of water to wash out any leftover food particles. 

The way you brush matters, too. Start brushing from the back of your teeth in gentle circular motions or up-and-down flicks instead of sawing back and forth. Opt for mild thoroughness instead of quick aggression. Choose a soft-bristled brush, too. Dentists recommend brushing for at least two minutes. 

2. Clean Your Tongue 

Never neglect your tongue when doing your twice-a-day brush. The tongue is prone to plaque and bacteria buildup, which leads to bad breath and might cause swelling. You can run your toothbrush over your tongue or use a scraper. 

3. Floss as Often as You Brush 

Many people overlook flossing. This first or final step (depending on your preference) is crucial to ensuring your teeth-cleaning routine is as thorough as possible. Make dental flossing as important as brushing your teeth. Not only does it get the tiny pieces of food stuck in between your teeth, but it also stimulates your gums. Don’t apply too much pressure – you might hurt your gums. 

4. Have Mouthwash Handy  

Mouthwash is a terrific supplement to your mouth oral care routine. It reduces the amount of acid in your mouth and remineralises the enamel. Mouthwash rinses off leftover bacteria or food particles you failed to catch during brushing and flossing. Always bring a travel-sized bottle to clean your mouth when not at home. 

5. Consume Teeth-friendly Foods 

Young woman in workout clothes and headphones eating apple and drinking tea.
Eat your teeth clean! Crunchy fruits and vegetables scrub your teeth down, stimulate saliva, and neutralise harmful acids on your teeth.

Everyone knows that sugar hates your teeth. But if some goods are bad for your teeth, some are good too. To paraphrase an old saying, “apples keep the dentist away.” Chomp down on crunchy and fibrous fruits and vegetables, like pears, celery, cucumbers, carrots, and lettuce. These help scrub your teeth down and remove plaque. Crunchy food requires you to chew longer, stimulating saliva and neutralising acids that can erode your teeth. 

6. Change Your Toothbrush Every 3 Months 

Change your toothbrush every three months – or when the bristles are frayed or worn. You should also replace your toothbrush after recovering from the flu or a cold to prevent bacteria from being re-introduced to your mouth. Rinse your toothbrush thoroughly after every brush, making sure not to leave any traces of toothpaste. 

7. Wash Your Toothbrush Cover 

Your toothbrush isn’t the only thing that needs replacing. Replace or wash any old toothbrush covers, holders, and any other dental accessories. Pro tip: after washing, pour hot water over your toothbrush covers and holders every week to disinfect them from bacteria. 

8. See Your Dentist Bi-annually  

Learning how to improve your dental act is never a solo act. You must still visit your dentist every six months (though this schedule may vary depending on your general oral health). Missing out on your dental appointments might result in undiagnosed problems and potential cavities that you could have prevented early. Deep cleaning also removes tartar, which may be too much for ordinary brushing.  

9. Correct Crooked Teeth 

Crooked teeth are more than a cosmetic problem. Overcrowded and overlapping teeth create hard-to-clean spaces that could harbour bacteria and plaque. You can address your crooked teeth comfortably and subtly by using ClearCorrect aligners. You can slip them off during your dental care habits so you can clean your teeth without the hurdles of brackets and wires. 

Teeth cleaning isn’t rocket science, but it shouldn’t end with your toothbrush. All it takes is a little commitment and a few tweaks to your oral hygiene routine. Try these nine tips and you’ll be on your way to healthy, sparkling-clean teeth. Now, that’s something worth smiling about. 

 

References: 

The Link Between Gum Disease and Heart Disease. (2022, May 24). PennMedicine. 

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