Ah spring—the time of year to dust off the cobwebs and make a fresh start. Nothing marks the change of seasons like a good spring-cleaning. While you’re organizing your closets and sweeping out the corners, consider sprucing up your dental hygiene routine as well.
Now is a good time to take stock of your oral care, so take the following steps to determine what needs a refresh, what needs an upgrade, and what just needs to go!
1. Update Your Toothbrush
With winter doldrums on their way out, take a good look at the state of your toothbrush. The American Dental Association recommends getting a new one every three to four months (or sooner if the bristles are frayed). But don’t just replace it—consider strengthening your toothbrush game with an upgrade.
- Consider Softer Bristles — Firm or even medium bristles may make it feel like you’re getting a more thorough cleaning, but they can actually do more harm than good. Brushing too hard can lead to loss of enamel and receding gums. Protect your teeth by opting for softer bristles.
- Step Up Your Technology — Electric toothbrushes have been proven to clean more thoroughly than manual brushes. The vibrations or rotating movement provide a more thorough cleaning with every pass—a feature especially beneficial for those with limited mobility. Check in with your dentist for a recommendation on the best models for your teeth.
2. Clean Your Toothbrush Holder
Replacing your toothbrush regularly is a good way to keep things sanitary. In addition, you may want to consider the last time you cleaned out your toothbrush holder as well.
The container you keep your toothbrush in is exposed to all the same germs and bacteria as your other bathroom surfaces. Don’t put your new toothbrush into the old container until you clean it thoroughly. Wash it in warm, soapy water, wipe it down with disinfectant, or run it through the dishwasher once or twice a week to keep your toothbrush—and your mouth—clean.
3. Check Expiration Dates
You check expiration dates on food when cleaning out the fridge, and it is equally important to remember that your dental care products have expiration dates too. Take a look at your mouthwash and toothpaste, and toss anything that has surpassed the expiration dates. This is also a good opportunity to switch up your products and try something new!
4. Set Up an Actual Spring Cleaning
When was your last dental check up? While you’re rebooting your routine, think about giving yourself a completely fresh start with a professional cleaning. Your dental hygienist will polish away stains and remove tartar buildup, and your dentist can detect any potential problems. A professional appointment also gives you a chance to ask your dentist about concerns and get custom advice on your daily cleaning habits.
Kick off the new season by giving your smile a little TLC. Contact Oradent Associates in Chicago to set up your next checkup.