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4 Steps to Care for Your Teeth Like Dentists Do

Brushing teeth

Have you ever seen a dentist with a bad smile? Dentists generally take the time each day to apply what they've learned and take excellent care of their teeth. Unfortunately, oral health is an issue that's widely neglected nationwide, with many people failing to take their dentist's lead and prioritize taking great care of their teeth each day.

Daily care is often the primary thing that determines one's overall dental health. Optimal preventative care can prevent tooth decay, gum disease, and a host of other oral health issues. Don't wait another minute to start taking the best care of your teeth. Follow these steps to take care of your teeth like dentists do.

Step 1: Brush Your Teeth Properly Twice per Day

Brushing your teeth once before bed doesn't cut it. You need to be brushing your teeth at least twice per day for at least two minutes each time. Be sure to brush with a toothpaste that's approved by the American Dental Association. (There will be an ADA logo on the toothpaste packaging stating that it is approved by the association.)

If you have a hard time keeping track of how long you have been brushing, try listening to a two-minute song while you brush your pearly whites. Songs that last around two minutes include "Yesterday" by the Beatles, "Waterloo" by Abba, "Breaking Glass" by David Bowie, "You Really Got Me" by the Kinks, and "Love Me Tender" by Elvis Presley.

Step 2: Floss Like You Mean It

Flossing is too often neglected between brushing and swishing with mouthwash, but it is a very important part of taking the best possible care of your teeth. Flossing gets rid of decay-causing bacteria that can linger between teeth in areas a toothbrush simply can't reach. It can also get rid of pesky food particles that can cause toothaches and lead to other dental issues.

Grab approximately 18 inches of floss each time, wrapping the ends around a finger on each hand. Gently insert the floss between your teeth and behind your back teeth on each row. As you are flossing, press the floss against each side of tooth. If your gums bleed when you start flossing, talk to your dentist, but that is common when people are new to flossing.

Step 3: Swish with the Right Kind of Mouthwash

Most people enjoy the refreshing zing of using a powerful mouthwash to banish cavity-causing bacteria from their mouth. Be sure you're using the right kind of mouthwash for your dental needs. If you experience a lot of tooth sensitivity, you can select a mouthwash that can help lessen it over time. If in doubt about which mouthwash you should buy, consult your dentist.

Measure the right amount of mouthwash as indicated on the packaging. Pour it in your mouth and swish vigorously for at least 30 seconds and up to a minute or otherwise as long as directed for the mouthwash you're using. Be sure to spit out the mouthwash after swishing. Don't ever swallow it since some of the ingredients are probably not meant to be consumed.

Step 4: Stay Away from Harmful Habits

Sometimes what you don't do to your teeth can be as important as the things you do! If you currently use tobacco in any form, do what it takes to stop. See your doctor if needed. Smoking can dramatically increase your risk of oral cancer, tooth decay, gingivitis, and even periodontitis. It's not worth the risk, and it also can cause stains on teeth and bad breath.

Finally, in addition to taking steps each day to take optimal care of your dental health, it's important to get regular check-ups at the dentist's office. At Pierpan Family Dentistry, we provide customized care and can help you resolve any dental issue that's keeping you from thriving oral health. We can help you brighten, enhance, maintain or restore your smile.