Skip to Main Content

A warm welcome to patients from Dr. Riley Schaffer Dentistry. Learn more

Our Top 5 Tips for At-Home Oral Hygiene

While you may think it's just a simple thing of brushing and flossing, that's not necessarily the case. Our Sault Ste. Marie dentists share some useful tips for how to elevate your at-home brushing and flossing routine for more effective oral hygiene.

Professional dental cleanings should not be used alone, just as at-home dental care shouldn't be. In order to ensure the best possible oral hygiene you will need to combine both professional dental care with thorough at-home care. Here are 5 tips that you can follow at home to help keep your teeth healthy.

1) Use a timer when you are brushing your teeth.

When you brush your teeth you need to make sure to brush thoroughly for at least 2 minutes. One of the ways that you can help avoid under-brushing is by using a timer. This can also help you avoid overbrushing which comes with its own set of issues. Using a stopwatch or timer, like the one found in most smartphones, can be the difference-maker in ensuring you brush for the correct amount of time. 

Bonus tip: You can also try an electric toothbrush. If you can find an electric toothbrush that buzzes or beeps after two minutes this can help make tooth brushing a breeze.

2) It may be easier to think of your mouth as having four quadrants.

You can help break down the task of tooth brushing by mentally separating your mouth into four quadrants: upper left, upper right, lower left, and lower right.

This can make it easy to follow the two-minute recommendation when you spend 30 seconds brushing all sides of your teeth in each of the quadrants to make up 2 minutes once you are finished. This helps make sure you're giving all of your teeth equal care, and not accidentally neglecting some teeth in favour of others.

3) Make a 'C' shape with the floss around your tooth.

Flossing is a key part of your oral hygiene routine by helping to remove any debris that is stuck between your teeth. You will want to do more than just floss in one motion as this will not reach all angles of your tooth.

For best results, one should pull the floss into a c-shape around a tooth, and gently move it up and down the sides. Then repeat the same steps on the other tooth by pulling your floss into a c-shape in the opposite direction. Think of the C as hugging the tooth being flossed, curving around its form.

By using this shape and motion you will help to provide your teeth with the best possible cleaning.

4) Leave your floss on the counter where you can see it.

When you forget to floss you are allowing all of the debris sit in between your teeth potentially causing serious issues that will not only be painful but also expensive to fix later. This can result in tooth decay and bad breath over time, so it really is important to try to remember.

If you have trouble remembering to floss, start leaving your floss out in plain sight, somewhere you’re sure to see it. Ideally, keep it right next to your toothpaste and toothbrush. It might seem overly simple, but sometimes little changes like this can have a massive impact on your ability to develop new habits.

5) Be sure to replace your toothbrush on a regular basis.

You use your toothbrush multiple times a day which means that you will see it wear down pretty quickly. at the very least you should be replacing your toothbrush every 3 months, and even sooner if you can see visible signs of wear.

To help you determine when to replace your toothbrush, take a good look at it. If the bristles are bent, frayed or flattened, it’s probably time to get a new toothbrush. Many toothbrushes have bristles that are blue in colour. The blue will start to fade over time, and when it’s about half gone you should replace your toothbrush.

Bonus tip: Be sure to replace your tooth brush if you've had a cold or flu, this can help prevent the reintroduction of the virus or bacteria into your body.

For more tips on brushing and flossing, and how to get the most out of your oral hygiene routine, you can contact our Sault Ste. Marie dentists today.

New Patients Always Welcome

Looking for a dentist in Sault Ste. Marie? We're happily welcoming new patients at our dental clinic! Contact us to get started today. 

Request Appointment

(705) 942-9200