Having a routine and following it daily reduces the need to make mundane decisions throughout the day. Routines enable us to know exactly what tasks we need to do, without having to give it much thought. Your oral hygiene routine is no exception to this statement, and practicing the same daily routine will allow you to not only become more efficient, but it will improve the condition of your smile too.
The secret to building good oral hygiene habits is repetition. By developing and perfecting good practices, you will be simultaneously eradicating any bad ones. This helpful checklist will keep your oral hygiene routine on track, so your teeth can remain beautiful and healthy.
How To Create A Daily Routine
Routines can create consistency in our schedules, help with time management, and encourage us to build healthy habits. Think about why starting a routine is essential to you and find your motivation. Write down your oral hygiene checklist and goals, and keep it in a visible spot where you will see it each day. Being subtly reminded of your intentions will help to keep you on track to achieving your goals.
Brushing Your Teeth
Everyone should brush their teeth at least twice a day for a minimum of two minutes. Brushing is the best way to remove food particles and plaque off the surfaces of your teeth, ensuring a healthy smile.
Each time you brush, focus on these key instructions:
- Brush your teeth for two full minutes.
- Spend an equal amount of time (30 seconds) in each quadrant of your mouth.
- Hold your toothbrush at a 45-degree angle pointed towards the gums.
- Brush all of the surfaces of your teeth, including the sides and the chewing surfaces.
- Brush twice a day, ideally in the morning and again before bedtime.
Flossing Your Teeth
Like brushing, flossing must be done properly with the correct technique to achieve a proper clean between the teeth. It is recommended that flossing be performed daily.
Each time you floss, focus on these key instructions:
- Use a piece of floss up to 18 inches in length.
- Use a fresh area of floss every few teeth without re-inserting bacteria you just removed.
- Use a “C” motion when rubbing floss up against the teeth, wrapping the floss around each tooth.
Using a Mouthwash
Mouthwash can go where your toothbrush and floss can’t. Mouthwash is recommended to rid your mouth of the same debris that irritates the gum line and causes gingivitis. Adding mouthwash to your oral care regimen will allow you to get the most thorough clean, even when you’re on the go and unable to brush or floss properly. Mouthwash should contain fluoride, which helps strengthen the enamel on your teeth.
Cleaning Your Tongue
Some toothbrushes now come with a ridged tongue scraper on the back of the brush head. After brushing your teeth, bacteria can remain on the tongue, so be sure to brush or scrape your tongue as part of your daily routine. Not only will cleaning your tongue banish bacteria, but it will also help to freshen your breath and keep it that way.
Schedule Regular Exams and Professional Cleanings
Dr. Okamura can help you to improve the health of your mouth with regular dental checkups and tips on how to maintain your oral hygiene routine at home. Scheduling regular exams and professional cleanings will help to reduce your risk of developing cavities, gingivitis, and periodontal disease.
How Does Your Daily Routine Measure Up?
Don’t give up right away if your new routine is not sticking – you’ve got this! On average, it takes more than two months before a new behavior becomes automatic – 66 days to be exact. Performing your new routine checklist each day will have your oral hygiene perfected before your next bi-annual dental checkup.