It's true that for removing built up tartar from your teeth professional dental cleanings are important, but a thorough at-home oral hygiene routine is essential for preventing tartar buildup from happening in the first place. The following are 5 tips to help you make the most of your brushing and flossing routine, and keep your teeth their cleanest between dental appointments.
1 - Use a Timer
Did you know that you should be brushing your teeth for at least two minutes at a time, twice a day? If you've been rushing through brushing your teeth, you may be surprised at how long two minutes actually is.
A great way to make sure that you brush for long enough is to use a the timer on your phone. Just set the timer for two minutes and get brushing.
Bonus tip: If you're considering investing in an electric toothbrush, some models have have built in timers that buzz or vibrate after they’ve been running for two minutes.
2 - Picture Your Teeth in Four Quadrants
Mentally divide your mouth into four equal sections: upper left, upper right, lower left, and lower right.
Throughout your two minutes of brushing, spend 30 second focusing on just one of those quadrants. Brush the fronts, backs, and chewing surfaces of all the teeth in that one quadrant, before moving on to the next quadrant.
3 - Pull Your Floss into a C-Shape
OK, so we know you've heard this before but we'll say it again...flossing is important! Make the most out of your time spent flossing, don’t just saw the floss up and down between your teeth a couple of times.
Instead, try pulling the floss into a c-shape around a tooth, and gently moving it up and down the sides. Now, repeat this process again on the next tooth but pull your floss into a c-shape in the opposite direction.
Continue on each tooth until you have thoroughly flossed all of your teeth.
4 - Keep Your Floss in Plain Sight
Forgetting to floss allows bacteria and food particles to linger in those tight areas between your teeth. Over time this can result in tooth decay and bad breath.
To help remind yourself that you need to floss, leave your floss out in plain sight, somewhere that you’re sure to see it. Ideally, you should store your dental floss right next to your toothpaste and toothbrush.
5 - Replace Your Toothbrush Regularly
Your toothbrush works hard. Fact is, toothbrushes begin to wear down pretty quickly. You should replace your toothbrush approximately every two to three months. If your toothbrush begins to show wear sooner, don't wait, keep your toothbrush in good condition to help keep your teeth sparkling clean.
Not sure when to replace your toothbrush? Take a good look at the condition of your toothbrush. It’s probably time to get a new toothbrush if your's has bent, frayed or flattened bristles. A number of toothbrushes have blue bristles. The blue will gradually begin to fade, and when the colour is about half gone, it's time to get a new toothbrush.