This probably won’t come as a massive shock to you, but the secret to a healthy smile is all about your oral hygiene routine.
Think about it. When it comes to skincare, you have a cleanser and cream for just about everything. In fact, some K-beauty brands even recommend a 12-step skincare regime. So why are we taking such intricate care of our skin but assuming that brushing will get the job done for our teeth?
Even though we’ve been hiding behind masks for what feels like forever, you still have to keep your pearly whites polished. And a healthy smile is the prettiest smile.
Let’s take a look at the different steps you can incorporate into your oral hygiene routine.
Brushing – Non-Negotiable
Just like a face wash is non-negotiable, you need to be brushing your teeth. Believe it or not, there is a right and a wrong way to brush your teeth. (Okay, in fairness, the only wrong way to brush your teeth is to NOT brush your teeth. So, there’s a good and a better way to brush.) You can employ some techniques to get the most out of your brush sessions.
While the color of your toothbrush won’t impact the cleaning power, your brush should have a small to medium head and come equipped with soft bristles. If you use a manual toothbrush, we recommend getting one with a tongue scraper on the back.
Ideally, you’d brush your teeth for two minutes. Set a timer on your phone if you don’t have an electric toothbrush, and dance around to some fun music while you get your 120 seconds in.
If you have a regular toothbrush, be sure that you aren’t brushing too violently. Brush by making gentle circles starting at the gumline and keeping your toothbrush at a 45-degree angle. If you use an electric toothbrush, you just have to put the toothbrush up to each tooth and let the brush do everything else.
Be sure you’re brushing your teeth with ADA-approved toothpaste that has fluoride. This guarantees a high-quality clean.
And once you’re done for the day or night, rinse your toothbrush and stand it up to air dry. Covering your toothbrush while it’s wet can lead to bacteria buildup.
Not the dance move. The thing that the dentist does that makes your gums bleed.
For a healthy smile and gums, you should floss at least once a day. Use the string, one of those one-time-use flossers, or a water pick. The important thing is that you actually floss. Be sure to get under each side of your gum line as you clean each tooth.
An interdental brush is what you get when you cross a toothbrush and floss. It’s a tiny brush that can squeeze in between your teeth to clean up hard-to-reach plaque. These little brushes are an effective way to prevent gum disease.
Most interdental brush sets come in multiple sizes, so you can comfortably fit them in between teeth. You should never try to push an interdental brush in between your teeth. If it doesn’t want to slide in, it means you need to use a smaller size.
Interdental brushes can help you achieve a cleaner, healthier smile. And since you’ve probably used a toothpick before, it shouldn’t be too hard for you to master the skill of interdental brushing.
Mouthwash can give you fresher breath, whiten teeth, soothe dry mouth, and prevent gingivitis. Be sure to use a gentle mouthwash that contains fluoride and anti-microbial cleaning properties. Use it after you finish brushing and flossing, and you’ll be ready for your day or to hit the hay!
We all associate a healthy smile with a white smile. As you go through your oral hygiene routine, you may want to add a whitening step. Yes, you can use whitening toothpaste or mouthwash. But you can also consider adopting a whitening treatment to keep your smile stunningly bright.
There may not be an unhealthy reason your teeth aren’t pristinely white, but you should feel confident when you smile. For some, that means exploring ways to make their teeth appear brighter. However, we don’t recommend replacing brushing or flossing with whitening.
Wear Your Retainer
If you had braces, you have a retainer. Wear it, so you don’t have to endure having braces again. But be sure to clean it every night. Keeping your teeth in proper alignment not only saves you from adult braces, it also reduces the risk of jaw or tooth pain.
And Wear Your Mouthguard (Or Get One)
If you have bruxism or a temporomandibular joint disorder (TMD), you either have a mouthguard or you need to get one.
If you already have one, fantastic! Be sure you’re wearing it every night to prevent bruxing and clenching. And don’t forget to clean it.
If you don’t have one, it’s essential that you invest in one. Bruxism, also known as teeth grinding, can lead to worn enamel, tooth sensitivity, and chipped or cracked teeth. And since TMDs cause you to clench your jaw, you end up gnashing your teeth together. Either way, it can get nasty.
A custom nightguard creates a buffer between your two layers of teeth. The mouthguard keeps you from grinding your teeth, so you wake up well-rested, pain-free, and with a perfectly healthy smile. All the brushing in the world can’t help you if you grind your teeth into nothing.
The biggest hurdle people have with getting a mouthguard is often the cost. Dentists will charge an arm and a leg for a custom-fit guard. But if you turn to an over-the-counter guard from a drugstore, then you’re stuck with an uncomfortable guard that protects your teeth but hurts your jaw.
Thankfully, there is a third option. With Cheeky, you can get a dentist-quality custom nightguard for a fraction of the cost. And when your teeth are protected, you’ll have the healthiest smile. Check out how it works and get Cheeky today.