Is Your Preventive Care Routine Optimized?

woman practicing good preventive dentistryEveryone knows that brushing and flossing are vital for maintaining good oral health, but are you actually performing these tasks correctly? By continuously performing hygiene techniques incorrectly, you could be causing more harm than good. You should regularly scrutinize your routine to determine if there is anything you could improve on, even if you think your techniques are perfect. Always follow your dentist’s advice on preventive care regimens to ensure your teeth and gums stay healthy for many years to come.

The 2-2 Rule

Of course you brush your teeth everyday, but do you really brush for long enough? To ensure adequate removal of decay-causing bacteria, you need to brush your teeth twice a day, for two full minutes each time. Many people find it helpful to set a timer or use a timed electric toothbrush to assist in keeping track of the minutes. Another trick is to mentally separate your mouth into four quadrants, and brush each section for 30 seconds each. When you finish brushing your teeth, don’t forget about your tongue!

Trash Your Old Brush

You should replace your toothbrush every 3 months or so, to maintain a soft brushing surface, and avoid gum damage. A worn out brush will not clean as well as it should, and may actually cause scratches in your enamel. Toothbrushes can become infiltrated with tons of bacteria over time, so it is also a good idea to keep your new brush inside the bathroom cabinet, far away from the toilet.

Never Skip the Floss!

Although flossing is only recommended once a day, it may be the most important part of your hygiene routine. There are tiny spaces between your teeth and gums that most toothbrushes cannot reach, which is why flossing is so vital to your tooth and gum health. When you floss, slide the string between two teeth and allow it to glide down the side of each tooth, and into the space between your gums and teeth. This motion causes plaque and bacteria to be evacuated before they can harden into tartar below your gumline.


As a native of northwest Indiana, Nicholas Cain, DDS, is dedicated to providing excellent general, preventive, and family dentistry services to the community that raised him. To schedule your appointment, call Healthy Smiles today at 219-938-2637.