If you’re concerned about the health of your teeth, then you’re likely thinking about ways to improve your dental care routine. After all, just brushing your teeth might not be enough to ensure they stay healthy. Here are some tips to help you find your dental care groove, to help you take better care of your teeth and learn good oral health habits that will last a lifetime.
1. Find a toothpaste you love
If you hate your toothpaste, you will avoid using it. Even if you don’t hate the taste but aren’t thrilled with it, you could be creating a barrier to a good dental care routine. Buy a few little sample tubes or travel toothpastes and see which one leaves your mouth feeling the freshest. There are a larger variety of flavors on the market than you probably expect, so try them all! If you enjoy brushing your teeth, then you are more likely to do it consistently. Consumer Search has a helpful list of consumer reviewed toothpastes if you’d prefer to do some research before picking out a new toothpaste. The list even contains handy buttons you can click to place an amazon.com order for the products that sound best to you. That way you don’t even need to leave home to get a new toothpaste!
2. Get a cool toothbrush
While manual toothbrushes are good, they might not provide much incentive to brush your teeth. If you invest in a high-quality electric toothbrush, the chances that you will use it often will likely increase. When you invest in something, you want to make sure you get your money’s worth. Getting a sleek electric toothbrush can help you to be more excited about brushing. Electric toothbrushes also get the job done more effectively as WebMD discusses, “An electric toothbrush can cover a larger area faster, so you clean more surfaces in the same amount of time. When you brush by hand, you make about 300 strokes per minute. Compare that with the thousands -- in some cases tens of thousands -- of strokes per minute a power one makes.”
3. Brush at the same time each day
Make brushing your teeth a habit by doing it at the same time every day. This will help you to develop a routine and stick to it. You need to make sure to brush your teeth every morning and at night before you go to bed. Another option if you work in an office, keep a toothbrush and toothpaste in your desk and brush after lunch. The more you keep up with the routine, the more it will become a normal part of your day. If you have trouble doing this, enlist a brushing buddy. It can be your spouse, kids, or sibling. Anyone you live with can join in the routine to help you make it a standard part of your day.
4. Find a dentist you like
A lot of people rank visiting the dentist as one of their least favorite things to do. This probably has a bit to do with the physical pain that is associated with dental treatments (just the sound of the drill makes some people cringe). Another factor that impacts how much people avoid the dentist is if they actually like their dentist. If you find a dentist with good skills and a winning personality, then you’ll be less likely to avoid going when you know you should. Finding a dentist you like will increase the chances that you will visit them to prevent dental problems instead of just going when there is something wrong. WebMD recommends doing a thorough search of dentists in your area, “Contact your local or state dental society. The ADA provides a list of local and state dental societies on its web site, www.ada.org.”
5. Keep floss on hand
If you ever think “I should start flossing” you’re right! You really should. Mouth Healthy explains, “The American Dental Association recommends cleaning between your teeth once a day. This is important because plaque that is not removed by brushing and flossing can eventually harden into calculus or tartar. Flossing may also help prevent gum disease and cavities.” But it’s hard to incorporate flossing into your routine unless you keep it around. The next time you go to the store, put it on your list and buy a pack or two. It’ll be harder to ignore if you have actually gone to the trouble of buying the dental floss. You can even splurge on some floss flavors that go beyond the standard waxed mint to encourage you to use the floss.
6. Keep your teeth white
Avoiding certain drinks like coffee and red wine, or foods that have are likely to stain your teeth and cause discoloration is a great way to help keep your teeth nice and white. To keep your smile even brighter you can also try over the counter whitening toothpastes or a home teeth whitening kit for added gleam.
Creating a positive dental care routine takes time and patience. Like anything, you need to be committed to the routine or it will fall by the wayside. Talk to your dentist to see if they have any suggestions on ways you can improve your oral hygiene and be sure to incorporate their suggestions into your daily routine.