Staying at home doesn’t have to mean neglecting your dental health.
In many states, preventative dental care has fallen to the wayside as dental offices have worked to keep their patients safe and prevent the spread of coronavirus. However, even if you can’t get in to see your local dentist in person, it doesn’t mean that you can’t keep your teeth healthy and beautiful from home.
How to Keep Your Smile Healthy From Home
#1. Brush properly.
Most people are well aware of just how important regularly brushing their teeth is for dental health. In fact, it’s the most basic thing you can do to keep your teeth and mouth healthy. But, how you brush your teeth is just as important as how often you brush, and believe it or not, it’s easy to get it wrong.
The correct way to brush your teeth is by holding the brush at a 45-degree angle and brushing in a gentle, circular motion. Plaque is loose and soft and doesn’t require aggressive brushing to remove. If you brush your teeth too aggressively, or even too frequently, you can end up damaging your teeth and gums.
It’s also important that you’re brushing your teeth for long enough to get them thoroughly cleaned. Two minutes is the ideal amount of time to brush your teeth. If you don’t brush long enough, your teeth won’t get properly cleaned, and if you brush too long, you could damage your teeth and gums, just as you could by brushing too aggressively.
And, don’t forget to brush your tongue! After all, it’s where the majority of the bacteria in your mouth live. It also prevents bad breath, which is always a good thing.
#2. Invest in the right toothbrush.
Not all toothbrushes are made equally, and to get the best results when brushing your teeth, you need to use the right tools for the job.
An electric toothbrush is a great option if it’s in your budget. One study found that, when compared to manual toothbrushes, electric toothbrushes have the power to reduce plaque up to 21 percent more and gingivitis 11 percent more.
If using an electric toothbrush isn’t an option for you, not to worry. You can still clean your teeth thoroughly with a manual toothbrush, but again, it’s important that you select the right one. For best results, you’ll need a soft-bristled toothbrush. Hard-bristled brushes aren’t gentle enough and can damage your teeth and gums.
#3. Rinse regularly.
Brushing your teeth after every meal or snack is unnecessary and, as I mentioned, can end up hurting your teeth and gums more than helping them. But, that doesn’t mean that you can’t do anything to freshen up your mouth throughout the day after meals and snacks.
Rinsing regularly is a good way to get rid of any food particles that may have been leftover in your mouth. When debris is left in your mouth, it combines with bacteria to create tartar. All it takes to remove it is a simple rinse of warm water after eating.
It’s especially important to rinse your mouth out after eating or drinking anything that’s acidic. If you brush too soon after eating an orange or something else acidic, you can actually hurt your teeth by brushing the acid into them.
#4. Keep your toothbrush clean and replace it regularly.
Germs and bacteria can grow on your toothbrush while it’s sitting on the counter between brushings, which are then introduced into your mouth when you brush. Gross!
Luckily, you can avoid this by simply disinfecting your toothbrush before each use. This can be done by letting your toothbrush sit in antibacterial mouthwash for about 30 seconds. If you don’t have antibacterial, you can soak your toothbrush in a mix of a cup of water with two teaspoons of baking soda mixed into it for several minutes, or you can soak your toothbrush in white vinegar overnight every week.
In addition to ridding your toothbrush of germs and bacteria, it’s also a good idea to replace it regularly, as the bristles can wear out over time. The general rule is that you’ll want to replace your toothbrush or toothbrush head every three months.
#5. Floss every day.
Plaque, which is the leading cause of gum disease and tooth decay, needs to be removed from your teeth twice a day. Unfortunately, not all plaque is easy to reach. The plaque that grows in between your teeth can be some of the toughest to get rid of since it can’t be reached with a toothbrush alone.
Flossing is the best way to eliminate the hard-to-reach plaque that grows in between your teeth, and it should be done at least once a day. If you can’t stand the idea of flossing, a water flosser or powered air can be a decent alternative.
#6. Drink plenty of water.
Drinking lots of water throughout the day is not only good to keep you hydrated; it’s also a key part of dental health. When your mouth is dry, it can actually lead to an increase in the accumulation of plaque and increases your risk of tooth decay and periodontal disease.
When you drink plenty of water, it also leads to an increase in salvia, which is your body’s first line of defense against plaque and decay. And, if you drink water that contains fluoride, which is commonly found in tap water, it will also help to strengthen your teeth.
If you’re in need of in-person dental care, find a dentist near you with Top Rated Local. Every state has its own policy in place, and many are loosening restrictions, so you may be able to get an in-person appointment. Barring that, though, many dentists are offering online consultations to address patients’ questions and concerns.
With Top Rated Local, you can read a local dental clinic’s reviews from across the web and easily compare them to other dentists in your area. Get started today.