Are You Keeping Good Oral Hygiene Habits?

By Laura Elliff, DMD
April 24, 2018
Category: Oral Health
Tags: oral hygiene  

Do you pride yourself on your toothbrushing speed? Although quick brushing may help you get out the front door sooner, the habit may oral hygieneincrease your risk of tooth decay. Our Batavia, IL, dentists, Drs. Laura and Andrew Elliff and Dr. Alexander Stokowski, can discuss the ideal brushing time and share a few oral hygiene tips that will help you protect your smile.

Spending more time brushing means fewer cavities

Have you ever noticed that your teeth feel a little rough throughout the day? The sensation occurs when an invisible layer of plaque coats your teeth. Although the bacterial film is responsible for tooth decay, it can be easily removed simply by brushing your teeth. Thorough brushing can't be accomplished in just a few seconds. If you don't brush long enough, plaque will be left behind on your teeth. For best results, brush your teeth for at least two minutes with a soft-bristle brush.

Flossing isn't optional

Plaque doesn't only coat the surfaces of teeth you can see but also forms between teeth. You can avoid cavities in these areas by flossing once each day. Daily flossing also gets rid of food debris that may cause bad breath.

Don't forget about your tongue

Brushing your tongue and the roof of your mouth decreases the amount of bacteria in your mouth. Plaque can soon migrate to your teeth if you brush your teeth but don't also brush these areas. If brushing your tongue makes you gag, the experience may be more comfortable if you use a tongue scraper, available at Batavia area drugstores.

A few tricks can help kids become more enthusiastic brushers

Do your children complain about toothbrushing? These tips may help them develop a good oral hygiene routine:

  • Buy Fun Brushes: Toothbrushes that light up, play music, or feature favorite cartoon characters can make it much easier to convince your kids to brush.
  • Use Rewards: Stickers or other small rewards for a job well-done offer a little extra incentive for reluctant brushers.
  • Offer a Little Demonstration: Are you worried that your kids don't brush thoroughly enough? Buy plaque-disclosing tablets, available online, and ask your children to chew the tablets after brushing. Missed spots will appear blue or red, offering unmistakable proof of plaque buildup.

Protect your smile with good oral hygiene and regular checkups. Call our Batavia, IL, dentists at Elliff Dental at (630) 482-7200 to schedule your next appointment.