4 Ways People of All Ages Can Improve Their Oral Hygiene Routine
Did you know that only 25% of millennials brush their teeth twice daily? And according to the same study by Delta Dental, 42% of adults visit the dentist less than once per year. If that isn’t enough, 40% of kids under age three have never been to the dentist. The statistics are staggering. It just begs the question, why do so many people deprioritize their oral health? To that end, what is the best oral hygiene routine to protect our teeth and gums?
The Best Oral Hygiene Routine: What You Need to Know
Self-care and self-improvement aren’t set-it-and-forget-it strategies. The truth is that there are always steps we can take to improve our health and wellness, and following the best oral hygiene routine is just one of them. Here are four ways people of all ages can improve their oral hygiene routine and protect their pearly whites.
1. Make brushing and flossing part of your daily routine.
Brushing and flossing your teeth regularly and consistently is a skill that takes time to master. And you’d be surprised at how many people don’t know how to brush their teeth properly. Your teeth should be brushed twice daily for two minutes using a soft-bristled toothbrush. Flossing is just as important, if not more so. Make sure that flossing daily is also a part of your daily routine. Flossing before you brush can help loosen food particles that your brush will help sweep away. When you don’t brush and floss adequately, it leads to tartar build-up that can contribute to tooth decay.
But let’s dig a bit deeper into the importance of flossing before we move on. In some ways flossing may be even more critical to oral health than brushing (though this doesn’t mean you should skimp out on brushing). Flossing helps remove plaque from below the gum line. When that plaque builds up, it erodes tooth enamel and turns into tartar which is difficult to remove and causes tooth discoloration. Failure to floss increases your risk of developing cavities and gum disease and contributes to soreness, puffiness, and red gums.
2. Consider an electric toothbrush.
Many patients either don’t spend enough time brushing their teeth each day, or they take out their aggression and stress while brushing. In some cases, they do both. This can result in excessive plaque build-up and harm your teeth in other ways. Brushing too hard or using a medium or coarse-bristled toothbrush can wear down and damage your teeth and gums. This can lead to gum recession, enamel wear, and tooth sensitivity.
Electric toothbrushes are an excellent way to clean your teeth and gums. Not only do they tend to work better than manual toothbrushes, but most of them also have a built-in timer that ensures you brush for two minutes each time. But the benefits don’t stop there. The very design of an electric toothbrush ensures you don’t put more force than necessary on your teeth. It’s a win-win situation. And today’s electric toothbrushes are more affordable than ever, with many different makes and models on the market.
3. Help your child improve their oral hygiene routine.
Remember that statistic we shared earlier that 40% of kids under the age of three have never seen a dentist? This statistic is alarming since dedication and focus to oral health start right when your child is born. And it is recommended that your child visit the dentist around the time their first tooth comes in, or their first birthday, whichever comes first.
So, our first recommendation is to ensure your child is scheduled to visit the dentist every six months for a professional dental cleaning and oral examination. But also, teach your child how to brush and floss at home. Find an age-appropriate toothbrush for your child that helps them control it independently.
We know that it can be hard to keep little kids focused. One of the most tried-and-true ways to get your child interested in brushing their teeth is through fun songs and distractions. There are a lot of different YouTube videos designed to not only teach your child how to brush their teeth but to keep them entertained too. Two of our favorites are the Blippi toothbrushing song and this brush my teeth song. To make brushing time even more fun, make it a family activity—if they brush, you brush too!
4. Reorganize your bathroom.
No, we’re not getting into the business of bathroom remodeling. But we have a few pointers to help the family develop the best oral hygiene routine. For a kid’s bathroom, ensure all brushing, flossing, and rinsing supplies are within easy reach. Hang posters or reminders on the wall that remind your kids how to brush and floss. Even fun decorative bathroom signs can help trigger the brain to say hey, it’s time to brush.
And don’t think an adult bathroom couldn’t benefit from some reorganization. Ensuring bathrooms are clean, neat, organized, and well-stocked can help create a more relaxing environment where you’ll want to spend a couple of extra minutes each day caring for your teeth and gums.
Routine dental care is the best oral hygiene routine.
Taking care of your teeth and gums is about following routine dental care tips. Brush and floss daily and prioritize those trips to the dentist every six months for a professional dental cleaning and oral examination. If you are overdue for a visit to the dentist, now is the time to request an appointment with Dental Care Associates of Buffalo. We’re glad to be your partner in creating the best oral hygiene routine for you and your family and showing you why prevention matters.