Blog Feature Image - The Ideal Oral Hygiene Routine Revealed

We all want a great smile and the first step to a beautiful smile is a healthy mouth. Your oral hygiene routine is so important, and consistency is the key. Caring for your teeth is an essential part of a healthy lifestyle.

It begins with brushing and flossing, but there’s so much more you can do. If you’re interested in how to establish an oral hygiene routine, we have the answers.

Here are our tips for a healthy oral hygiene routine:

Brush Properly

Brush your teeth twice a day or more. Do this every day, no matter how busy you may be.

A quick swipe is better than nothing, but it’s not enough. Brush your teeth for at least two minutes. Aim for 30 seconds for each quadrant of your mouth.

For best results, brush at a 45-degree angle to the tooth’s surface and don’t forget your gums. Try to brush up and down on the front and back surfaces and back and forth on the flat tops. 

Brush all surfaces with a soft-bristled brush and fluoride toothpaste. If you wait until after breakfast to brush, try to wait about an hour after eating.

This is especially important if you’ve had something acidic like grapefruit or orange juice. 

Floss Every Day

It’s easy to put off flossing if you’re tired or in a hurry. But you shouldn’t skip this important step.

If you floss when you brush, floss first. Flossing loosens plaque and particles between your teeth. It helps make brushing more effective.

Use enough floss to have a clean section for each tooth. Use about a foot and a half of floss, wrapping it around your index fingers. 

Slip the floss gently between each tooth. Then continue to wind off a clean section as you move to the next tooth. 

Don’t forget to get in between your back teeth. Some people prefer to use hand-held “flossers.” You may need more than one to get the job done. These are handy for young children as well.

Use Mouthwash

After you’ve brushed and flossed, it’s time to rinse with mouthwash. There are many brands and flavors on the market. Choose a mouthwash you like so you’ll be more likely to use it.

A small capful is all you need. Swoosh for 30 seconds and spit out. Many people think mouthwash is for controlling bad breath. Although it helps keep your breath fresh, it does much more, including:

  • Reducing acids in the mouth
  • Helping re-mineralize the teeth
  • Removing debris between teeth and along the gum line

Flossing and using mouthwash along with regular brushing will help keep your mouth clean and healthy.

Drink Plenty of Water

Water is necessary for overall health and hydration. It plays an important role in oral health as well.

Water is sugar-free and helps keep your mouth clean by washing out residue and debris. 

Be sure to avoid sugary drinks as much as possible and drink plenty of water each day as part of your healthy dental hygiene routine.

Eat a Healthy Diet

The foods you choose play an important role in your health and wellness. This includes the health of your teeth and gums.

Be sure to get plenty of fiber in your diet. Crunchy fruits and vegetables are high in fiber and good for your jaws and teeth.

Foods that are sticky, acidic, sugary, and high in carbohydrates provide a breeding ground for bacteria. Limiting these foods and only eating them in moderation can help curb the chances of dental decay.

Healthy eating habits along with a healthy oral hygiene routine can help you have a healthier mouth and body.

Avoid Harmful Habits

Some habits can be harmful to your oral health. Clenching your jaw or grinding your teeth can lead to headaches, muscle pain, chipped teeth, or a sore jaw. These unconscious habits known as bruxism must be treated by a dentist.

Smoking is terrible for your health and your teeth. It can cause stained teeth and weakened gums. Even worse, smoking increases the risk of developing oral cancer and lung cancer.

Try to avoid biting your nails or using your teeth to open packages or bottles. You could chip a tooth or even cause gum damage with these harmful habits.

Although regular brushing is essential, avoid brushing your teeth aggressively. This can wear down the tooth’s enamel or lead to gum problems. Gentle brushing is best.

Get Regular Dental Checkups

You may try to take care of your teeth and follow all of these healthy practices. But you can’t be sure your mouth is healthy without regular dental checkups.

Ideally, you should visit your dentist twice a year. Your teeth need regular professional cleaning and the attention of dental professionals.

There are multiple reasons you shouldn’t skip your dental checkup. 

Oral Cancer Check

Your dentist will check your mouth for any signs of oral cancer. These signs include lesions, lumps, white spots, or discoloration of the mouth or gums.

Gum Disease

Over time, tartar and plaque can build up and lead to dental decay and infection. Seeing your dentist for regular cleanings can help you avoid the development of gum disease.


From time to time, your dentist may take x-rays to check for any issues below your teeth and gum line. This can detect issues such as impacted wisdom teeth, deep decay, and other dental problems.

Head, Neck, and Lymph Nodes

Your dentist may also check for abnormalities in your neck, jaw, and lymph nodes. These problems may be symptoms of other potential health problems. If necessary, your dentist may refer you to a doctor to have any issues addressed.

Establish the Best Oral Hygiene Routine

It may take some practice to establish a healthy oral hygiene routine. Regular brushing, flossing, and other healthy habits can help you enjoy long-term oral health.

Seeing your dentist twice a year can prevent minor issues from becoming serious ones. If you haven’t seen a dentist in a while, be sure to make an appointment right away.

If you’re looking for a dentist in the Webster Groves area, we’d love to take care of all your dental needs. Contact us today to schedule an appointment.

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Did you know that the average American adult sometimes goes two days without brushing their teeth?

While brushing any amount is better than nothing at all, it’s still important to know that there’s a right and wrong way to care for your teeth and gums. Chances are that you have at least one of the many bad brushing habits out there.

Are you ready to learn how to adopt a flawless brushing routine? Keep reading to learn 8 ways you can stop harming your teeth.

1. Don’t Apply Too Much Pressure

One of the most common mistakes people make when brushing their teeth is being too aggressive with their grip. You may think that you’re getting the deepest clean possible with this technique, but the truth is that you’re putting yourself at risk of destroying your enamel.

Enamel is the thin, protective barrier that surrounds our teeth. When our enamel is strong, it can help ward off cavities and all kinds of oral health conditions. This is why it’s essential to brush your teeth like a gentle but thorough massage to keep the enamel intact.

2. Use a Soft-Bristled Toothbrush

Another way you can ensure that you’re not being too tough on your teeth is to make the switch to a soft-bristled toothbrush. Not only will this help keep your teeth in top shape, but you’ll also be able to avoid irritating your gums.

The good news is that soft-bristled toothbrushes are easy to find. They’re in the same location as other types of toothbrushes and the packaging will have a clear label that it’s soft-bristled. You can also get soft-bristled toothbrushes from your dentist whenever you get a cleaning.

3. Hold Your Toothbrush at a 45-Degree Angle

It’s not ideal to hold your toothbrush horizontally and use broad strokes across your teeth. This brushing method can leave behind bacteria and neglect your gums.

The best approach to take is to hold your toothbrush at a 45-degree angle so the bristles can reach every part of your teeth and gums. Keeping your gums clean means that you won’t have to worry about serious conditions like gingivitis.

4. Brush in a Circular Motion

Once you’ve mastered holding your toothbrush at a 45-degree angle, you can move on to getting your rhythm right. You should brush in a small, circular motion so that each individual tooth can get proper attention.

This tip is especially important for people who have crooked teeth. Being mindful of working the bristles into all the crevices can keep your smile healthy and vibrant. It’s not uncommon to be able to feel a bit of grime on unclean teeth, so can try running your tongue over your teeth after you’re done brushing to test if you were thorough enough.

5. Set a Timer for Two Minutes Twice a Day

Not many people enjoy brushing their teeth, so it’s hard to set aside a full two minutes to get the job done well. Even if you think you’re already brushing the ideal amount, you’d be surprised by how much time can slow down when you’re doing a chore.

To make sure that you never skimp on your brushing routine, it’s helpful to set a timer on your phone or even listen to a short song that will guide you through the cleaning. Do your best to spend 30 seconds in each quadrant of your mouth so each area gets equal attention.

6. Wait 15 Minutes After Eating

Whether you have a busy morning routine or you like the feeling of freshening up after a meal, you may be guilty of brushing your teeth too soon after eating. In addition to brushing with too much force, brushing after meals is another habit that can weaken your enamel over time.

There are lots of foods that are high in acidity, which causes your enamel to soften. When you brush your teeth before your enamel has time to harden up again, you’re more likely to strip it away. You should wait at least 15 minutes after eating to brush your teeth, but waiting up to an hour is more ideal.

Are you worried about harming your enamel? You can protect your teeth by drinking water after eating acidic foods like citrus fruits or meat to flush out your mouth. You can also drink acidic beverages like soda and fruit juices with a straw.

7. Cover All Areas of Your Teeth

If you’re passionate about having a dazzling smile, then you may pay extra attention to the front of your teeth where others will notice. It’s vital to cleanse the entire surface area of your teeth so you can eliminate dangerous bacteria. Pay close attention to how you maneuver your toothbrush and don’t forget to scrub the tricky places like the backs of your molars.

8. Get Personalized Advice From Your Dentist

Dentists are trained to look inside of a person’s mouth and figure out the causes of any oral health issues. Once they’ve made a diagnosis, they can help reverse the damage and educate their patients so they can make lifestyle changes that will resolve the problem. 

It’s great to read tips on maintaining tooth and gum health, but nothing can replace personalized suggestions from a dentist who can identify what needs improvement. This is why you should never put off your regular cleanings.

Now You Know How to Stop Harming Your Teeth

Lots of people are surprised to learn that they have bad oral hygiene habits. If you follow this guide on how to avoid harming your teeth, you can protect your teeth and gums so they stay beautiful and healthy.

Are you in need of professional dental services in the Webster Groves, Missouri area? If so, Webster Family Dental would love to take care of you and help you achieve the smile of your dreams. Contact us so we can schedule your next appointment.