6 Dental Hygiene Priorities for 2021

dental hygiene habits

2020 is over! COVID-19 certainly took a lot out of everybody and we, even us at Fennell, Yoxthimer, and Associates, DDS, have all had to adjust how we live to keep everyone safe. Even with the pandemic, we have done everything possible to care for our patients safely and efficiently. We want to thank our patients for their understanding over the last year and are eager to help more people attain the smile of their dreams.

Because dental health and oral hygiene are always important, we have provided several useful tips to carry you through 2021.

#1: Brush Twice a Day

Brushing is fundamental to oral care, yet 31% of Americans only brush once a day, and 2% never bother at all. Nearly one-quarter of Americans go multiple days without brushing. Note that brushing should last at least two minutes to ensure full coverage of every area. Some tips:

  • Brush at 45°, favoring short vertical strokes along the gums for front teeth.
  • Scrub with gentle, circular motions.
  • Remember the back molars and upper regions where you chew.
  • Invert your brush, using the tip to handle the interior surfaces of your front teeth.
  • Brush the tongue.

#2: Floss Daily

Only 30% of Americans floss daily, and 32% never floss at all. Flossing strips plaque from oral spaces where a brush cannot reach, prevents gum disease, diminishes tooth decay, and abolishes bad breath. Some tips:

  • Use 18-24″ of waxed floss, wrapping each end around a finger. Give yourself 1-2″ to use.
  • Use a mirror for guidance.
  • Hold floss taught and gently slide it vertically between two teeth.
  • Never floss into the gums.
  • Curve floss at the base of your teeth to reach the zone between the gumline and teeth.

#3: Use Mouthwash

Rinsing with mouthwash washes off plaque, bacteria, and other nasty bits. While not a substitute for brushing and flossing, quality mouthwash works great with those items.

#4: Kill the Sugar

Excess sugar harms teeth. Limit your candy intake and consider sugar-free gum as an alternative. Soda is not only rich in sugar but acidic enough to dissolve enamel.

#5: Ditch Bad Habits

This means quitting smoking and chewing tobacco, both substances known to stain teeth and cause cancer. Less carcinogenic habits to stop include:

  • Nail-biting
  • Ice-chewing
  • Teeth-grinding
  • Alcohol

#6: Regularly Visit Your Dentist

One of the most obvious tips is to engage in regular checkups with Fennell, Yoxthimer, and Associates, DDS. While only 58% of Americans visit their dentist annually, it is recommended to visit every six months. Even with stellar oral care, checkups can illuminate blind spots or potential future problems. Many dental issues take time to manifest and dentists have the training and experience to recognize warning signs.

If your memory fails you on the date of your last visit, consider contacting Fennell, Yoxthimer, and Associates, DDS for an appointment today.

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