Want to take great care of your teeth? We’re here to help! Brushing and flossing like a pro is easy! We’ve got the tips and tools you need. Read on to learn how to keep your teeth in top shape so they stay healthy and strong!
Why Dental Hygiene is Important
Before we talk about the how-to’s of brushing and flossing like a pro, let’s start by talking about why it’s important to brush and floss your teeth.
When you eat or drink, food particles and residue can linger on the surfaces of your teeth. As these food particles react with the saliva in your mouth, they can produce an acidic environment that can erode the enamel of your teeth and irritate your gums over time. If the erosion and irritation is allowed to continue, it can result in the development of cavities or gum disease.
That’s why it’s important to brush your teeth after each meal and floss daily. When you brush and floss your teeth, it works to wash away unwanted food debris, residue, and bacteria so that your teeth and gums stay clean and healthy.
Tips for Better Brushing and Flossing
When you brush your teeth, make sure to brush every surface. It can help to think of your mouth as divided into 4 different sections: the top right, top left, bottom right, and bottom left. Try to spend 30 seconds on each section and make sure to brush the front and back of each tooth along with the top surfaces of your molars (or back teeth).
Many people think that brushing is enough, but studies show that brushing only reaches about 60% of the surfaces of your teeth, leaving areas between your teeth completely untouched! That’s why it’s also important to floss daily.
To floss, start with an 18 inch strand of floss and wrap it loosely around the middle finger on each hand, then use your index or pointer fingers on both hands to guide the floss between each tooth.
The Right Tools Matter
Brushing and flossing like a pro is easy when you have the right tools! From electric toothbrushes to floss picks and waterpik pressurized water flossers, there are lots of tools to help make brushing and flossing like a pro easier! Talk with your dentist at your next appointment about which tools could be the most helpful for your dental care needs.Things can feel complicated with new braces. How do you know which holiday foods are braces-safe? We’re here to help! Here’s what you need to know about which foods to avoid and which ones are braces-safe.
Avoid These Holiday Foods
Knowing which holiday foods are braces-safe and which ones aren’t is important, so let’s start by talking about the ones you should avoid.
In general, orthodontists typically recommend avoiding any foods that are chewy, sticky, crunchy, hard, or that you would bite directly into (think of corn on the cob, candy apples, or a dinner roll).
There can be exceptions, such as if you cut corn off the cob or tear a roll into bite-sized pieces before you enjoy it, but if you’re in doubt about the safety of a food it’s always a good idea to check with your orthodontist first to get their advice.
Braces-Safe Holiday Foods
Now, let’s get to the good part: which holiday foods are braces safe? Most soft foods are a great choice for braces, like cheesy or mashed potatoes, cooked veggies, casseroles, candied yams, and cranberry sauce. Soups, salads, and pasta can also be good options. For dessert, pumpkin pie, fruit pies, cream pies, custards, and puddings are all excellent choices.
As a rule of thumb, it’s typically a good idea to look for foods that are soft and don’t require a lot of chewing or biting into to help ensure that nothing catches or pulls on your braces or knocks a wire or bracket loose.
Taking Care of Your Braces during Holidays
Knowing which holiday foods are braces-safe and which ones aren’t is just the start if you want to keep your braces looking and feeling their best throughout the holidays! It’s also important to take good care of your braces to keep them in top shape by brushing and flossing regularly.
Having braces can feel complicated sometimes, but before you know it you’ll get them off and have an amazing new smile that will be worth it!
Call our Austin or Georgetown dental offices , to make an appointment with a dentist who may be able to help you find out more about this topic, and improve your oral health.