As we embark on a brand-new year, we tend to stop and take stock on our lives and how we’d like to improve in the coming year. What are your resolutions going to be? Are they all health-based? Are they more financial? A mixture or lots of aspects? When coming up with your 2022 resolutions, make sure you add dental health to your list.
Most dentists will tell patients that the two most important things they can do at home are to brush and to floss regularly, because our dental health links directly to our overall health. But there is a right and wrong way to do so, and it’s important to understand the difference.
You should brush at least two times a day, and it should take about 2 minutes each time. Brush lightly with a soft-bristled toothbrush, being careful not to damage the gums. Hold your brush at a 45-degree angle to your gums and move the brush in an up and down motion, using short strokes. Avoid long, wide, side to side sweeping strokes that can cause scrapes along your gums. Every three months or so, swap it out for a fresh one to avoid bacteria.
Avoid acidic drinks that can weaken enamel – coffee, soda, orange juice, and energy drinks all will contribute to weakened enamel. Because of this, avoid brushing your teeth immediately after consuming them (in fact, you can avoid brushing immediately after a meal). If you wait a half hour after eating or drinking before brushing, your saliva will have an opportunity to bring your mouth back to its normal form, allowing your enamel to re-harden and make it less likely to be damaged during brushing.
If you would like more information on dental hygiene practices, call Dr. Herd in Rancho Santa Margarita, CA at 949-858-5147 or visit www.gregherddds.com.
Dr. Greg J. Herd proudly serves Rancho Santa Margarita and all surrounding areas.