How to Improve Your Oral Hygiene Routine
Keeping up with proper oral hygiene is essential for maintaining good dental health. At Rocky Mountain Smiles, we want all our patients to have their best smile. Follow these tips from your Loveland, CO dentists to improve your daily oral hygiene routine.
Brushing your teeth is the foundation of good oral hygiene. But it’s important to do it properly. Here are some brushing tips:
- Brush for 2 minutes, twice per day – after breakfast and before bed. Set a timer if needed.
- Use soft or extra-soft bristles. Hard bristles can damage gums.
- Hold the brush at a 45-degree angle to your gums. Apply gentle pressure and use short strokes.
- Brush all surfaces – front, back, top, and bottom. Don’t forget your tongue!
- Replace your toothbrush every 3-4 months when bristles start to wear.
Proper brushing technique helps remove plaque buildup that can lead to cavities, gum disease, and bad breath if left on your teeth and gums.
Flossing gets in between teeth where your toothbrush can’t reach. Floss at least once per day, preferably at night.
- Use about 18 inches of floss. Wrap ends around middle fingers with an inch of floss taut between.
- Gently glide floss between teeth with a sawing motion. Curve it around the tooth sides.
- Floss just below the gumline, not into gums. Be gentle – don’t snap floss into gums.
- Rinse away debris. Use a new section of floss for each space between teeth.
Flossing removes plaque and food particles your toothbrush misses between teeth and under the gumline where cavities often form first.
Use a Tongue Scraper
Using a tongue scraper removes bacteria and food debris, leaving your mouth cleaner and fresher.
- Hold the tongue scraper gently on the back of your tongue.
- Gently pull forward to remove built-up film. Cover all areas of the tongue.
- Rinse the scraper thoroughly between each use.
- Scrape your tongue whenever you brush, 2-3 times per day.
Scraping the tongue reduces bad breath by removing bacteria buildup.
Rinse with Mouthwash
Mouthwash adds an extra layer of protection by killing bacteria a toothbrush may have missed.
- Choose an ADA-approved antimicrobial mouthwash. Avoid alcohol-based varieties if you have sensitive gums.
- Swish a small amount around your entire mouth for 30-60 seconds.
- Spit out mouthwash – do not swallow. Rinse with water after.
- Use mouthwash after brushing and flossing. Do not eat or drink for 30 minutes after use.
Mouthwash reaches spots you may have missed brushing and flossing to reduce cavities and gum disease.
Checkup with Your Dentist
Even with diligent home care, be sure to maintain regular dental exams and cleanings. Your dentist can detect issues you may have missed.
- Schedule exams every 6 months. Cleanings every 6-12 months depending on your needs.
- Report any oral health changes – tooth pain, gum swelling, mouth sores, etc.
- Follow your dentist’s treatment plans. Prompt care prevents minor issues from becoming major.
- Ask your dentist about sealants, fluoride treatments, or other preventive options.
Regular dentist visits allow early detection and treatment of oral health problems before they worsen.
Schedule an Appointment with Our Loveland Dentist Office
Ready to improve your smile? Call Rocky Mountain Smiles today at (970) 551-2406 to schedule an appointment with our experienced dentists and friendly staff. We provide quality dental care for the whole family – kids, teens, adults, and seniors.
Call (970) 551-2406 or click here to Book Your Dentist Appointment!
Frequently Asked Questions
Here are answers to some common questions about oral hygiene and dental care:
How often should I replace my toothbrush?
Replace your toothbrush every 3-4 months, or sooner if the bristles become frayed.
What is the proper way to floss?
Use 18 inches of floss, wrapping ends around middle fingers. Gently glide floss between teeth and curve it around tooth sides. Floss just below the gumline.
When should my child first see a dentist?
Bring your child to the dentist by their first birthday, or within 6 months of their first tooth erupting.
What causes bad breath?
Bad breath is caused by bacteria buildup on the tongue, teeth, and gums. Proper brushing, flossing, and tongue scraping helps eliminate odors.
The content on this blog is not intended to be a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment. Always seek the advice of qualified health providers with questions you may have regarding medical conditions.