40444440_sIf you’ve got your oral health routine down, that’s great! But even if you regularly go to dental appointments, brush, and floss, you may still benefit from practicing a few extra habits. Many people overlook these four practices that greatly enhance your existing dental regiment.  

Brushing Technique- Brushing your teeth is the most obvious action you can take to maintain good oral health. However, not all brushing is equal. To most effectively clean your teeth during brushings you should be holding your toothbrush at a 45 degree angle toward your gum line. You should also be moving your toothbrush in small movements, as if you were focusing on one tooth at a time. This is the proper way to efficiently brush away debris and plaque, especially near the gums were it can build up.

Brush Storage- Tooth brushes are best stored upright, so that they can air dry. If you leave you toothbrush lying near the sink, or worse, with a case over the bristles, the moisture can breed bacteria. Unless you want to be cleaning you teeth with a bacterial infested brush, remember to keep your brush upright and uncovered. If you’re traveling, look for a case that allows some air flow around the bristles.

Brushing Routine- This one is sort of an anti-habit. Like most people, you probably brush your teeth the same way every day without thinking. This routine can leave some areas of your mouth as sorts of blind spots. Instead, try to start brushing a different part of your mouth at the beginning of your routine every day. If you normally brush the chewing surface first, start with the back teeth. The change will force a conscientiousness that will cause you to notice areas that might have been neglected in your normal brushing routine.

Brush replacement- Most of us remember hearing that we should replace our toothbrushes regularly, but very few of us actually do it. Replacement should be done every three to four months. This one isn’t really so hard to keep up with if you’re already going to visit your dentist twice a year. Just plan to replace your tooth brush when your dentist gives you one and then halfway between visits. If you plan it this way, you only have to worry about replacing you toothbrush yourself about every six months, which can be easily put in a reminder on your mobile phone calendar or planner.