by Helen Bradford
People have started paying more attention to their health recently. Implementing workouts into our weekly schedule and keeping a close eye on the food we eat are just some of the ways in which we are trying to stay well and fit.
However, you cannot forget about one very important aspect when it comes to your well-being – your oral health. There are many consequences of having poor oral hygiene, such as sensitive or broken teeth, periodontitis, and even heart disease. While you might think that just quickly brushing your teeth in the morning is enough to keep them clean and you healthy, there are other things you should be doing to make sure your dental hygiene is top-notch.
So, here is a little guide to what your morning routine should look like to keep those pearly whites shining:
Brushing your teeth
When it comes to brushing your teeth, you might be thinking “I’ve been doing it forever, how complicated is it?” However, there are many things we do wrong here, and it’s imperative to break these bad habits.
For example, how do you select your toothbrush? Do you just go for the cheapest one? Do you get whichever you grab first at the store? Having the right toothbrush for your teeth is essential for good oral health. You can consult your dentist on this, but getting a medium or soft-bristled toothbrush is the way to go. Where you keep your toothbrush is also important. You should avoid keeping it in a closed container because that allows the bacteria to develop. Furthermore, make sure you replace your toothbrush every three or four months seeing as how frayed bristles will not be effective at cleaning your teeth.
Most people only brush their teeth for some 45 seconds. This is not enough time for the enamel to properly absorb the fluoride from the toothpaste. That is why you should brush for two minutes, twice a day. Set a timer or brush along to a song on the radio to make sure you don’t cut this time short.
Moreover, how you brush your teeth is also vital. You have to make sure you are gentle. Brushing hard may damage your gums and teeth, and you definitely do not want that. Also, the brush should be at a 45-degree angle towards the gums. Move it in tooth-wide strokes back and forth. Clean the teeth from all sides, including the back, front and top. Finally, vertically brush the inside surfaces of the front teeth.
Another dilemma people have is whether to brush before or after breakfast. The truth is that you can do it when you prefer. It also depends on the type of food you’ve consumed. For example, you should wait at least 30 minutes before brushing if you ate something acidic or brush your teeth before eating these foods.
Flossing your teeth
Flossing might be an activity you often overlook, but experts agree that this should be done once a day. In case you’ve never flossed before, here is what you have to know.
Take 45 centimeters (18 inches) of floss and wrap the majority around your left middle finger and a small amount around the right one. Then, with your thumbs and index fingers, gently place it between your teeth until you reach the gum line. You should follow the curve of the teeth so that you do not damage your gums. Once you are finished with one tooth, wrap the dirty floss around your right middle finger, and unwind clean floss from the left one. Do this for every tooth, and do not neglect those at the back of the mouth.
Just like with toothbrushes, there are different kinds of dental floss. That means that you can find the variety that suits you best. For example, if you have large gaps between your teeth, you can try the dental tape. If there is not much space between the teeth, waxed floss might be the solution. In case you have braces, spongy floss might be the thing for you. There is even floss in pre-measured strands to make things quicker. While some products may seem expensive, there are always those that offer great value for an approachable price, such as the First Choice floss. Try out different things until you find one that feels just right.
Rinse with mouthwash
After brushing and flossing your teeth, you should rinse your mouth with mouthwash. Sip a small amount and swish it around your mouth for half a minute. Always spit it out. This will freshen your breath.
Clean your tongue
You should not forget to clean your tongue during your morning routine as it will help you remove bad breath and odor as well as bacteria and debris from your tongue.
If you decide to use your toothbrush, put some paste on it and brush in circular motions. Rinse your mouth afterward. You can also do this with floss by scraping your tongue and then rinsing your mouth. Using a tongue scraper is another option. Take one end in each hand and gently scrape the tongue in back-to-front strokes. Don’t forget to rinse.
As you can see, there is nothing complicated here. Other than this, make sure you visit your dentist regularly and you will have no problems with your oral health.