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You’ve probably heard it just about every time you go to the dentist’s office: brushing isn’t enough. While it’s a crucial part of any adult’s oral hygiene routine, chances are you’ve been told you’re not flossing as much as you should be, brushing long enough, or using mouthwash. Well, luckily, there are a few other oral hygiene tips that make keeping your pearly whites both pearly and white a little easier.

It starts with your brush

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Sure, you’ve heard the guidelines that you need to brush at least twice a day, ideally in the morning and at night, for a certain amount of time. However, if you’re browsing the aisles of your grocery store and decide to pick out whichever toothbrush has the lowest price tag, it’s highly likely that you’re doing your teeth and gums a disservice. Cheaper brushes tend to have larger, more inflexible bristles. This means that, even though you’re following a solid brushing routine, you’re probably not getting all of the food particles out from between your teeth. This leads to oral health issues and less-than-pleasant bad breath.

Most adults require small or medium brush heads to adequately clean their teeth, as recommended by the World Health Organization. This makes it easier for the bristles to get into the crevices of your teeth, particularly your molars where food particles are most likely to be hiding. And just because you’re using the right brush doesn’t mean you can skimp on how long you brush, either. Two minutes is the minimum, each and every time.

Don’t neglect your tongue

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Do you ever have those moments where you get incredibly self-conscious about how your breath smells? Well, while the aforementioned food particles in your teeth can have a big impact on breath freshness, the biggest culprit tends to be your tongue. Many adults don’t regularly brush or scrape their tongue, leading to bacteria buildup that has a serious impact on the freshness of their breath.

When picking a brush, it’s a great idea to choose one that has a built in tongue scraper on the back. This makes it easier to incorporate this into your daily brushing routine. You can also go all out and purchase a separate tongue scraper but make sure to regularly clean it when you’re done using it, otherwise it will start to smell as well.

Make sure to use mouthwash as well as this is a great way to boost tongue health, kill smelly bacteria, and give your mouth an added burst of freshness to help you feel confident throughout the rest of your day.

Flossing troubles? Try a water pick

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It happens every time you visit the dentist. They finish cleaning your teeth and shake their head in disappointment. “I can see you haven’t been flossing enough,” they say. Busted. Flossing is a universal struggle but there are ways to make it easier on yourself. It starts by ditching the regular dental floss and using a water pick or similar water flosser. They show equally effective rates of plaque-busting and are usually easier to incorporate into your average oral hygiene routine. Plus, they tend to be much faster so you’re not spending minutes at a time just trying to pull a string of dental floss out of the package.

Need more tips?

This is by no means an exhaustive list of the ways you can work to keep your mouth healthier. If you’re looking for more assistance, the easiest place to start is with your New Brunswick dentist. After a regular cleaning, describe your routine to your dentist and ask how you can incorporate better oral hygiene into your schedule. You have to commit to it, though. Your teeth aren’t going to clean themselves!

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