What could you do with five minutes?
You could take a short walk.
You could watch a funny cat video (or two).
You could protect your mouth from cavities and gum disease.
Really, five minutes is all you need for your basic oral hygiene.
Now, we still want to see you in our dentist office, right here in Monroe, LA, twice a year for checkups and examinations. Our team at Bayou Dental Group is always here to help, but your oral health starts with what you do at home.
What You Will Need
You need the right tools to do any job.
Protecting your teeth is no different. Here is what you will need to clean your teeth correctly:
- A soft-bristled toothbrush
- Toothpaste with fluoride
- Dental floss or another interdental cleaner
To help you find these tools, you should look for the “ADA Accepted” seal on the packaging.
The toothbrush should fit comfortably in your mouth, and the handle needs to be long enough to allow your to reach your back teeth.
The toothpaste can be any flavor you like. The most important thing is that you use it.
With dental floss, the most important thing is that you use it to clean between your teeth, under your gumline, and behind your back teeth. Your floss can taste like bubblegum, cinnamon, mint, or nothing at all. It can be thin, regular-sized, or thick. It can be waxed or unwaxed, just as long as you use it.
You should find an alternative way to clean between your teeth and gums if you either can’t or won’t use dental floss.
Floss picks may be easier for you to maneuver because of their handles. Other people find water irrigators and electric air flossers more convenient.
Now, let’s talk about what you need to do with your five minutes.
Two Minutes In The Morning
Brushing your teeth should be part of your morning routine every day.
While you are asleep, you are generally producing less saliva. That is good for the bacteria in your mouth, the same bacteria that cause tooth decay and gum disease.
When you wake up, you need to counteract the work they have been doing. You do that by brushing your teeth.
First, squeeze a small bit of toothpaste onto your toothbrush.
In toothpaste commercials, actors tend to fill up the entire brush head. You don’t need that much. A small squeeze, about the size of a pea, is plenty to clean your mouth.
Next, start scrubbing. You need to scrub for two minutes, and you need to be sure to scrub your teeth on every side.
If it helps, brush your top teeth for a minute and your bottom teeth for a minute. Or divide your mouth into quarters, and scrub each section for 30 seconds at a time.
When you are done, brush your tongue, spit out the toothpaste, and rinse your toothbrush with water.
Three Minutes In The Evening
Before you go to bed, it’s a good idea to give you teeth one final cleaning for the day. This can remove any food particles that remain on your teeth. You don’t want to leave them there for bacteria overnight.
Start by breaking off 18 inches of dental floss. Wrap the ends of the floss around your middle fingers.
Grip the floss with your forefingers and thumbs. Hug the floss around the sides of your teeth, under your gumline, and around the back of your back teeth.
Throw the floss away when you are finished.
If you are using something other than floss, make sure you are cleaning all the places you can’t reach with your toothbrush.
Next, brush your teeth like you did in the morning.
This should leave you mouth feeling clean and refreshed as you prepare for bed.
After you have flossed and brushed, you may want to swish a fluoride mouthrinse for a minute.
The fluoride rinse is not meant to remove plaque and bacteria. However, it will help in your effort to prevent cavities by strengthening and rebuilding the enamel on your teeth.
Are Your Teeth Worth The Time?
We are confident that you and your family can find five minutes to take care of your teeth every day.
Your teeth help you eat the foods that you enjoy so you can get the nutrition that you need. They will keep working for you if you take the time to do a little something for them each day.
Don’t forget that you need to make time to visit the dentist a couple times each year, too. If you live in or near Monroe, LA, then we welcome you to visit Bayou Dental Group for your regular cleanings. Call (318) 302-4236 or use our online form to make your appointment.