2021 is almost here, and boy are we all glad 2020 is almost over! While there is a lot to look forward to, the turn of the calendar is also a great time to improve yourself. We also don’t want to weigh you down with some large, difficult resolutions. So for 2021, let’s keep it simple with an easy resolution. This year we challenge you to keep your brushing habits fresh. But what does that mean? Let us explain.
Even in a hectic 2020, it is easy to get into a routine. Sometimes you get into healthy routines, but other times your routines can do harm. For example, we recently wrote about keeping your morning brushing routine on time even if you’re working from home due to the pandemic. As we look towards 2021, we want our patients to make sure they’re paying attention to unhealthy routines. This brings us to our topic for today - keeping your brushing habits fresh. No we don’t mean using a new toothpaste! We’re talking about ensuring you brush every part of your teeth equally. The best way to do this is avoid your normal brushing routine. Here is why you should mix it up.
First, when we say “start your brushing different each day,” we don’t mean engage in poor brushing habits. You should still brush for at least two minutes, twice per day. Brush your entire mouth and all surfaces of your teeth using short strokes. Don’t brush too hard! This can damage your enamel.
The issue arises with -where- you start brushing your teeth. Say you always start by brushing your front teeth. This is a fine place to start, but we as humans don’t always actively think while we brush. You may be reflecting on your day, or you may be tired and ready to get into bed. Before you know it, you’ve spent way too much time brushing your front teeth, and the back molars have barely received any brushing. Your two to three minutes are up, so you rinse your brush and call it good. The problem is your back teeth have been neglected! If you get into a regular habit like this, you may be exposing certain areas of your teeth to greater risk for cavities.
The best way to combat this problem is to always start your brushing somewhere new. You need to actively think about where you’re brushing, and leave no area neglected. For example, next time around instead of brushing your front teeth first, start with the back molars. Now don’t doze off and start thinking about other things. Try to keep your mind on the task. Get all sides of your molars and then move forward to you other teeth. You need to be equal opportunity with each tooth. They should all get roughly the same amount of attention!
It can be said that flossing doesn’t suffer from this “routine” issue like brushing since you need to floss every gap between your teeth. The thing is some patients can get lax on their flossing form from beginning to end. So you end up with the same problem. You start with the proper form, making a “C” shape and pulling up on both sides of each tooth, but by the end you’re rushing through the task. Once again, start at different areas each time you floss. Keep your head in the game and keep your form proper from beginning to end. Your teeth will thank you, and you’ll stay cavity free!
Start your year off right by getting your head in the brushing game! Just the simple act of changing up where you start brushing each day and staying mindful can result in a healthier mouth and better smile. Now if there was anything to look forward to as you begin 2021, it is definitely a healthier smile. Another great way to start the year off right is to schedule your next checkup if you’re overdue. After the New Year our staff is ready to provide world-class treatment for you and your family. Contact us today to schedule your next appointment. Happy New Year from everyone at Grace & Leedy Family Dentistry!