When’s the best time to floss?
The ADA recommends brushing twice a day and cleaning between teeth with floss (or another interdental cleaner) once a day. Some people prefer to floss in the evening before bedtime so that the mouth is clean while sleeping. Others prefer to floss after their midday meal. Still others chose to floss first thing as a part of their morning ritual. The bottom line is that best time to floss is the time that fits well with the individual’s schedule.
Should I brush or floss first?
Either way is acceptable as long as you do a thorough job. Some people like to floss before brushing to better ensure that any material between teeth is swept out of the mouth. Others prefer to first clean their mouth by brushing before working with floss between their teeth. However, those who brush their teeth and skip flossing because they think their mouth feels clean or are short on time or tired and postpone flossing for some later time are likely missing out because flossing may never happen.
Can I rinse and reuse floss?
The ADA does not recommend using a floss strand more than once. Used floss might fray, lose its effectiveness, or may deposit bacteria in the mouth. Discard after use.
Remember: 2 minutes, 2 times a day. 4 minutes a day goes a long way for your dental health. Put the time in each day to keep your smile healthy and keep up this twice-a-day habit.
When it comes to choosing a brush, go soft. Whether you use a manual or powered toothbrush, choose a soft-bristled brush. Firm or even medium-strength bristles may cause damage to your gums and enamel. When brushing your teeth, don’t scrub vigorously—only brush hard enough to clean the film off your teeth. Your fluoride toothpaste will do the rest of the work.
Sharing is caring, but not for toothbrushes. Sharing a toothbrush can mean you’re also sharing germs and bacteria. This could be a particular concern if you have a cold or flu to spread, or you have a condition that leaves your immune system compromised.
Toothbrushes like to be left out in the open. Cleaning your toothbrush is easy: Rinse it with tap water to remove any remaining toothpaste and debris. Store it upright and allow it to air dry. If you store your toothbrush with other toothbrushes, make sure they are separated to prevent cross contamination. And do not routinely cover toothbrushes or store them in closed containers. A moist environment such as a closed container is more conducive to the growth of unwanted bacteria than the open air.
Lifespan = 3-4 Months. Make sure to replace your toothbrush every three to four months, or sooner if the bristles are frayed. A worn toothbrush won’t do as good of a job cleaning your teeth.
Top 9 Foods that can damage teeth
Too many treats aren't so sweet While a few hard candies seem harmless, eat too many and the constant exposure to sugar can be harmful to your teeth. Hard candies also put your teeth at risk because in addition to being full of sugar, they can also trigger a dental emergency such as a broken or chipped tooth. Better alternative? Chew sugarless gum that carries the ADA Seal.
Ice is for chilling, not chewing You’d be surprised at how many people think ice is good for their teeth. It’s made of water, after all, and doesn’t contain any sugar or other additives. But chewing on hard substances can leave your teeth vulnerable to a dental emergency and damage enamel. Advice: Break the habit and enjoy water in its liquid form.
Watch your citrus intake The truth is that frequent exposures to acidic foods can erode enamel, making teeth more susceptible to decay over time. So even though a a squeeze of lemon or lime can turn a simple glass of water into a fun beverage, it's not always the best choice for your mouth. Citric fruits and juices can also irritate mouth sores. Make sure to drink plenty of plain water.
Not all coffee is good for you In their natural form, coffee and tea can be healthy beverage choices. Unfortunately too many people can’t resist adding sugar. Caffeinated coffee and tea can also dry out your mouth. Frequent drinks of coffee and tea may also stain your teeth. If you do consume, make sure to drink plenty of water and try to keep the add-ons to a minimum.
Sticky foods are your mouth's worst nightmare When it comes to picking healthy snacks, many people put dried fruit at the top of the list. But many dried fruits are sticky. Sticky foods can damage your teeth since they tend to stay on the teeth longer than other types of food. If you find yourself eating dried fruits or trail mix often, make sure to rinse with water after and to brush and floss carefully.
Beware of things that go "crunch" Who doesn’t love the nice, satisfying crunch of a potato chip? Unfortunately potato chips are filled with starch, which tends to get trapped in your teeth. If you choose to indulge in snacks like these, take extra care when you floss that day to remove all the food particles that can lead to plaque build-up.
Swap out soda with water When you eat sugary foods or sip sugary drinks for long periods of time, plaque bacteria use that sugar to produce acids that attack your enamel, the hard surface of your tooth. Most carbonated soft drinks, including diet soda, are acidic and therefore, bad for your teeth. Caffeinated beverages, such as colas can also dry out your mouth. If you do consume soft drinks, try to drink alongside a cup of water.
Limit alcohol consumption Alcohol causes dehydration and dry mouth. People who drink excessively may find their saliva flow is reduced over time, which can lead to tooth decay and other oral infections such as gum disease. Heavy alcohol use also increases your risk for mouth cancer.
Watch out for sports drinks They sound healthy, but sugar is a top ingredient for many sports and energy drinks. The American Academy of Pediatrics says sports drinks can be helpful for young athletes engaged in prolonged, vigorous physical activities, but unnecessary in most cases. Before your next sip, check the label to make sure your drink of choice is low in sugar or drink water.