Floss Regularly AND ProperlyAccording to the Delta Dental survey released last year, there are a lot more people who should be tackling this resolution as well. Only 4 out of 10 people floss at least once a day, and 20% don’t floss at all!For the 20% out there, flossing isn’t something dentists and oral surgeons created to make your dental routine that much more of a hassle, it’s a pivotal component of maintaining strong oral health! For starters, gum disease starts right at the gum line and between teeth. If these areas are not properly cleaned, you will increase your risk of developing periodontal disease.The purpose of flossing is to clean all of the areas you can’t reach with your toothbrush to prevent plaque buildup. When plaque isn’t removed it becomes tartar, which is why we get our teeth cleaned by the dentist in the first place. Your dentist scrapes off tartar every 6 months at your scheduled cleaning, but when you regularly floss you will decrease the amount of tartar and leave your dentist bragging about their A+ patient for days.However, it’s not enough to simply start flossing. You need to make sure you are using the proper technique. This flossing guide by Oral-B incorporates tips from the American Dental Hygienists’ Association and provides a detailed explanation of what you should and should not be doing as you floss. Some of the more common flossing mistakes range from using the same section of floss the entire time, snapping floss in between your teeth, skipping back molars, and stopping when your gums bleed.
Brush Your Teeth The Correct WayMany of us are probably shaking our heads, "I've been brushing my teeth all my life, what do you mean I don't know how to brush correctly?" but you may be surprised at how many people are in fact not following the proper steps.About 7 out of 10 people brush twice a day, but that still leaves 30% of people falling short. In addition, the average person brushes for only 1 minute and 52 seconds, which is 48 seconds LESS than the 2-minute recommendation by the American Dental Association.To better grasp how long you should be brushing, it’s helpful to keep a stopwatch or your phone timer handy to make sure you are reaching the 2-minute mark. Once you have the proper timing down, it’s important to make sure you are brushing correctly. Colgate outlines four key points to keep in mind while brushing:
- Clean the outer surfaces of you upper and lower teeth
- Clean the inner surfaces of your upper and lower teeth
- Clean chewing surfaces
- Clean your tongue for fresher breath
Eat Foods To Improve Your Smile And Oral HealthThe perfect smile is not only obtained through proper brushing and flossing, you need to incorporate a healthy diet into your routine to fully improve your smile.These tips from Delta Dental are perfect to keep in mind as you adjust your diet to achieve a beautiful new smile:
- Eat Calcium and Vitamin D rich foods. These nutrients support healthy bones and teeth and will reduce risk for tooth decay. Such foods consist of milk, yogurt, almond or soy milk, and other dairy products. For anyone on a vegan diet, tofu can be prepared with calcium as well.
- Green leafy vegetables like broccoli, collard greens, and spinach contain folic acid. This nutrient promotes strong oral health and cell growth throughout the body.
- Based on recent studies, fresh cranberries have been shown to prevent bacteria growth before turning into damaging plaque.
- Consuming raw fruits and vegetables like carrots and celery will help clean plaque from your teeth.