Did you know 91% of 20-year-olds in the U.S. have had at least one cavity at some point in their lives? While tooth decay has been on the rise since the 1990s, the current statistics in children and adults alike are staggering. In America alone, 31% don’t brush their teeth twice a day, 20% don’t floss at all, and 48% don’t visit the dentist at least once a year! It’s safe to say that our dental care routine needs a tune-up, starting with prevention. If you are looking to prioritize your dental hygiene routine this year, here are four dentist-recommended good oral habits to start today.
Always Brush Your Teeth Before Bed
When returning home from a long day at work or evening out on the town, few things are more enticing than your comfortable, cozy bed. While it can be oh-so-tempting to jump right in and get some much-needed rest, you must brush your teeth first. If plaque can start building up on your teeth only 20 minutes after eating, imagine what it can do during your 6-8 hours of sleep! To prevent tooth decay, cavities, and other dental damage, make sure to always brush your teeth before bed.
Implement Proper Brushing Techniques
Brushing your teeth is half the battle; the other half is in the technique. Unfortunately, many people get it wrong when it comes to proper brushing, which allows harmful bacteria and acids to eat away at the enamel on your teeth. To keep your smile in pristine condition, always:
- Dampen your toothbrush under clean, running water.
- Place a pea-sized amount of toothpaste on your brush.
- Use circular motions to gently remove plaque.
- Clean the back molars and other hard to reach areas.
- Scrub back and forth over the chewing surfaces.
- Spit out the toothpaste.
- Rinse with water.
Consistently Clean Your Tongue
Your tongue takes up a lot of real estate in your mouth. If it is not cleaned properly, it can become a breeding ground for bacteria and cause your tongue to take on a white, filmy look. From there, it can continually expose your teeth and gums to harmful germs, which negatively impacts even the most effective brushing and flossing routine. Therefore, it is crucial to make cleaning your tongue a consistent, integral part of your oral hygiene routine! Simply use a toothbrush or a tongue scraper to gently clean your tongue from the front to the back. Repeat as many times as needed until nothing comes off.
Treat Your Diet as a Part of Your Oral Care
A healthy smile starts from the inside. To keep your teeth strong and your gums well, it is important to view your diet as a part of your oral care routine. Start by packing your breakfast, lunch, and dinner with vitamin-rich foods (like leafy greens), which can provide your body with essential nutrients and minerals. Additionally, make sure to drink plenty of water throughout the day. This will keep you hydrated while also rinsing leftover food particles from your teeth.
A proper oral care routine is essential, but it doesn’t have to be complicated. By following the above four steps, you can protect your teeth from tooth decay that leads to costly dental repairs. Staying vigilant with prevention will ensure you can enjoy your smile for decades to come!
About the Practice
Led by Dr. Davidson, the team at Dental Dynamics is dedicated to providing the comprehensive care you need at their state-of-the-art facility in Skokie, IL. So, whether you need a bi-yearly checkup or advanced specialty care, their friendly, experienced staff is ready to help. In fact, each member of the team is united by their passion for providing you world-class care! If you have any questions about improving your oral care routine through preventive dentistry, visit their website or give them a call at 847-329-9801.