Achieve “Perfect” Oral Hygiene

avatarby Dr. Kim OkamuraLast updated Jun 10, 2015Category: Blog

It’s never a bad idea to revisit proper flossing techniques

You’re tired of getting cavities and having them filled. You want your smile to stay bright, healthy, and beautiful – in the long term. While a proper diet is incredibly important to your oral health, it’s just one side of the equation. Excellent oral hygiene will help you stay disease-free and looking amazing.

But exactly which hygiene methods should you be embracing? With all the products and recommendations floating across the Internet, it’s sometimes tough to make a decision. And there’s a reason we put quotes around the “perfect” in this post title – because “perfect” doesn’t really exist. What’s best for you is unique to your own teeth, but there are a few ways for you to find the right practices.

One of the most important is checking in with your dentist regularly. By scheduling dental exams every 6 months, you give yourself a chance to discuss your health with professionals, and learn more about what’s working and what isn’t. Set up your next exam today!

Bolstering Your Toothbrushing

Brushing your teeth removes bacteria and plaque, freshens your breath, and helps ensure a lifelong smile. But it does demand that you take a few moments out of your day to spend on your teeth. Make sure your brushing time is as beneficial and effective as possible, with these tips:

  • Brush before breakfast – Citrus juice or fruit is a common part of the American breakfast, but it is highly acidic and softens your enamel for a brief period. By brushing before you eat, you avoid damaging your teeth with your toothbrush bristles.
  • Carry a travel toothbrush – Ever feel like plaque is building up, but found yourself away from your toothbrush? Make dental care on-the-go a simple endeavor – carry a travel toothbrush in your bag or briefcase.
  • When you can’t brush, rinse – Turn to nature’s toothbrushes when you don’t have the real thing on hand. Fresh, crunchy vegetables help scrub away bacteria and acids, and a full glass of water will accomplish the same task.
  • Don’t rush your brushing – Make sure to brush every area of your mouth, and angle your toothbrush to reach each surface of each tooth. Effective, thorough brushing takes at least 2 minutes per session.

Making Flossing Less of a Chore

Plenty of patients neglect their flossing. After all, how important can it be, right? The answer is actually: super important. Flossing removes plaque from areas of your teeth that a toothbrush can’t hope to reach.

How do you get yourself into the flossing habit? These considerations will help out:

  • Set a reminder – If you find yourself forgetting to floss, set a daily reminder on your phone or computer. When the alarm sounds, grab the floss! It won’t take long to finish.
  • Find the flossing method that works for you – If you don’t like using standard floss, try a floss holder or a water flosser, or thin ribbon floss if your teeth are tightly packed.
  • Be persistent – Once you start flossing, your teeth and gums will be a little sore and a little bloody each time you floss. This will fade within 1-2 weeks of consistent flossing, so keep at it!

Mouthwash: Yay or Nay?

Seattle dental tips

Not every patient benefits from mouthwash. If your teeth are sensitive, you’re prone to gingivitis, or you like the freshness that a rinse brings, then it’s a good decision. Check in with Dr. Kim to get a recommendation on which type of mouthwash would be best for you.

Have questions about revamping your oral hygiene game? Just get in touch.

Seattle General Dentist | General Dentistry Seattle | Seattle Dental Office
Dr. Kim Dr. Kim

Dr. Kim Okamura

I'm Dr. Kim Okamura and this blog is a product of my love of dentistry. I dedicate it to all the patients I have served so that they may better understand my craft. The information here will give you and others the power to maintain and protect one of your most priceless gifts ... your SMILE.
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