When it comes to maintaining your own original set of chompers, there are a couple of essential rules you must follow: avoid sugary foods, visit the dentist on a consistent basis, and brush/floss at least twice daily. While some of these rules are more difficult than others to follow (honestly, there’s no way we could expect anyone to refrain from ice cream entirely), the brushing/flossing precept is the easiest of the rules to stick with, but is often done infrequently or improperly. To brush and floss properly, you’ll need to know the proper technique, how often to replace your cleaning tools, and the right duration/frequency for true dental hygiene.
To begin, let’s discuss the proper technique for polishing them pearly whites till they shine like the Chrysler Building. The American Dental Association recommends placing your toothbrush at a 45 degree angle relative to your gums, then gently moving the brush back and forth in short, tooth-wide strokes. Make sure to brush all the surfaces of the teeth, from the front of the teeth we usually spend our time brushing vigorously, to the bottoms that do the chewing and biting, to the inside of the teeth that we often ignore. To brush those hard to reach inner surfaces, tilt the brush at a vertical angle and utilize up and down strokes repeatedly. In addition to brushing, make sure to clean between your teeth with floss. This will help to limit the build-up of decaying foods between your teeth, reducing both your bad breath and your odds of suffering from cavities. Watch this video for further technique assistance: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=xm9c5HAUBpY
When it comes to the tools of brushing your teeth, this is something you should discuss with your dentist to make sure you are using the proper toothpaste for your smile. Some might require a paste that reacts positively to gum sensitivity, while others might need some extra whitening elements to clean them up a shade or two. In general, though, it is good practice to look for a toothpaste that doesn’t contain sugars and has fluoride to help strengthen teeth and prevent tooth decay. As for your toothbrush, replace that bad boy every three to four months, as it will fray from the use overtime and no longer perform as it should. Floss should be changed out after every use… Just as a general rule of thumb, reusing old floss is gross. Make sure to brush for two minutes at least twice every day, although your teeth definitely will not hold it against you if you brush after every meal (especially after eating that aforementioned ice cream).