Do you panic when you see “dentist appointment” coming up on your calendar? Do you buy some floss as the drugstore and have a flossing frenzy the night before? If dentist appointments give you anxiety, there are some really simple, sure-fire ways to impress your dentist—and make your mouth healthier.
Use a Timer
You might brush your teeth for a little while and rinse, feeling like you brushed for ten minutes when it was really thirty seconds. Brushing haphazardly will do little more than get rid of your morning breath. To make an actual impact on your oral health, you should be brushing for at least two minutes. Try setting a timer, or playing a song that’s two minutes long while you brush—at least until you can really tell when it’s been a full two minutes!
Brushing harder doesn’t do anything extra for your teeth. In fact, all it really does it ruin your enamel and hurt your gums. You’re trying to get food particles, plaque and other bacteria off your teeth so consistent, soft brushing is best. It’s a complete myth that harder bristles do a better job of cleaning—it’s your teeth, not a car.
Get a New Toothbrush
You should be changing your toothbrush every three to four months, or after you’ve been sick! The main purpose of brushing your teeth is to remove bacteria, so if you’re dingy old toothbrush is full of bacteria itself, who are you helping? Not only is your old toothbrush less effective, it’s harboring possibly harmful bacteria that could lead to gingivitis or gum disease.
If it’s time to switch out your old toothbrush for a new one, consider an electric toothbrush! These more closely resemble the tools used in a real dentist’s office, and they do a better job of cleaning hard-to-reach places. There’s even an app called BrushDJ that will play songs in two-minute increments so you know you’re brushing for long enough.
Most people don’t brush their teeth after lunch, so chewing gum is a great way to get food out of your teeth. Try chewing sugar-free gum after a meal—bacteria can feed off of sugar that lingers from the food we eat. Gum also stimulates saliva production in the mouth, which has antibacterial properties.
If you’re tired of feeling the guilt and shame wash over you every time your gums bleed at the dentist, it’s time to do something about it. A toothbrush simply can’t get everything stuck between your teeth, so flossing is essential. You should actually be flossing before you brush. This will help loosen plaque between your teeth and then your toothbrush will get the rest. Wrap about 18 inches of floss around your fingers, and gently move it in a u-shape between your teeth. This motion will result in far less bleeding than if you just saw back and forth.
For more oral health tips, or to make an appointment, call LeCroy Dental today!