5 overlooked aspects of good oral care
Even if you make a point of brushing your teeth twice a day, you may be overlooking some of the most important aspects of good oral care. For many, oral hygiene becomes a redundant routine that can feel somewhat like a chore. However, when you start looking at cleaning your teeth as something you're obligated to do, it encourages bad habits that can end up causing problems such as halitosis, tooth decay and gingivitis in the long term. If lately you've just been going through the motions, consider these five aspects of responsible oral care that may be missing from your regimen:
1. Using mouthwash
Good mouthwash is designed to address specific oral health problems. When you're done brushing in the morning or before bed, it's easy to write it off as good enough. However, a study recently published in the International Journal of Oral Science found that using antibacterial toothpaste and mouthwash together can actually reduce the number of cavity-causing germs in your mouth. If you are prone to dry mouth or bad breath, using a quality non-alcohol mouthwash regularly can greatly benefit your oral health. Make sure that rinsing with mouthwash is a part of your hygienic routine.
2. Breaking out of your brushing routine
Brushing your teeth day in and day out may seem mundane, but this practice is one of the cornerstones of good dental hygiene. However, if you start brushing your teeth in the same spot every day or go through repetitive motions halfheartedly, you may be missing out on large portions of your mouth. By falling into a brushing routine, you naturally focus on certain parts of your mouth. This can leave other areas, such as the molars and gums, prone to bacteria buildup. Try beginning your brushing in a new location each day, and make sure to thoroughly cover every surface of your teeth, gums and tongue.
3. Mastering technique
Brushing your teeth may seem like a simple pastime, but when it comes to proper technique, there are a number of easy mistakes you can make. One mistake many people are prone to is brushing too hard, which can lead to receding gum lines and tooth sensitivity. Another technical gaff is making large brushing strokes, which can scrape the gums. Instead, brush in small, deliberate, gentle strokes and take the time to reach every surface of your mouth.
4. Regular visits to the dentist
Visiting the dentist twice a year is a smart practice with which we're all familiar. However, many of us avoid or push off regular cleanings and checkups. Recently, phobia of the dentist's office has been studied in more depth, and findings suggest many people avoid the dentist due to nervousness or anxiety. While it's normal to feel a bit uneasy in the dentist's chair, regular check€‹ups are an imperative part of strong oral health. Not only can dentists and hygienists provide a more thorough cleaning, but they can also highlight mistakes you're making in your daily regimen so you can correct them in the future.
Has it been a while since you flossed? You may be putting your teeth at more of a risk than you realize. Keep in mind that brushing won't adequately clean the areas in between your teeth, and flossing is integral to the health of your gums. If you haven't flossed in months, getting started can seem like a lot of work, but once you make it a part of your routine, you'll be able to feel the results. Flossing helps prevent plaque buildup, bad breath and gingivitis.