Are You Keeping Good Oral Hygiene Habits?

Discover the best practices for keeping your teeth and gums clean. 

Let’s get back to basics. While brushing and flossing might seem like obvious ways to keep smiles healthy, you may be surprised to discover that there are certain techniques or oral care habits that you might not be doing but should. With everyone spending more time at home, our Raleigh, NC, dentist Dr. Ashley Lloyd and her team want to make sure that you are keeping your teeth and gums as healthy as possible.

Brush Up on Your Brushing Techniques 

You’ve been brushing for years, so you’re a pro, right? Not so fast. Keeping your teeth clean isn’t just about brushing regularly but also about how you brush. Here are some techniques and tips to improve your brushing game,

  • Use a soft-bristled toothbrush and use a gentle hand when brushing your teeth. You don’t need to apply a lot of force or pressure in order to get teeth clean. In fact, doing so could actually damage enamel.
  • Make sure you set a timer for two minutes. Why two minutes? Because that’s how long you should be brushing each time you brush. While some electric toothbrushes have a built-in timer, if you use a manual toothbrush, you’ll need to set an alarm on your phone. Better yet: find a favorite song that’s at least two minutes long and brush until the song is over.
  • Make sure you are brushing your teeth at least twice a day, ideally first thing in the morning and right before bedtime (avoid eating or drinking anything but water after you brush your teeth).
  • Your toothbrush won’t last forever. Once those bristles look a little worse for the wear it’s time to replace your toothbrush head. Expect to replace your toothbrush every three to four months.

Flossing isn’t Just a Dance Move

While brushing is the best way to clean those front and back surfaces of your teeth, what about in between teeth? If you aren’t flossing, then you are leaving a good portion of your smile untouched. This can increase your risk for cavities and gum disease. Since our Raleigh, NC, family dentist would love nothing more than to give you a clean bill of health the next time you come in for a cleaning, it’s important that you are flossing at least once a day.

Here are some tips to follow,

  • Make sure that you have enough floss to handle the job (usually about 18 inches of floss will do)
  • Be gentle when guiding the floss in between teeth and back out, especially between tight spaces
  • Follow the curve of the tooth, guiding the floss up and down along the sides of each tooth before removing
  • Use a new, clean section of floss for each tooth

Due to Covid-19, our Raleigh, NC, dental practice is currently closed through May 1st for regular appointments; however, if you are a patient of record dealing with a dental emergency you can contact Dr. Lloyd at (919) 828-1001. In the meantime, we hope everyone stays safe and healthy during this time, and we hope to see you soon.

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What Our Clients Say About Us

  • "Hands down best dentist and hygienist in the triangle. My wife and I both go there - if you have a problem Dr Ashley is going to do her very best to get you in and get you fixed. We love her and her fabulous staff."
    Richard C
  • "DR Lloyd is amazing! I have had two chipped teeth over the past few weeks and she has squeezed me in the same day both times. The most recent one was today which happens to be the day before Christmas Eve. Thank you DR Lloyd!"
    Michael P
  • "Dr. Lloyd and her staff are wonderful. I have always hated to go "the dentist" and therefore put off appointments for years! I am very glad that I decided to trust my teeth and care to this office! They have helped to ease my fear and anxiety and get the job done easily and quickly! I already have my next 6 month appointment made and I will look forward to being there."
    MaryAnn E
  • "Dr. Lloyd and her staff are amazing. I actually look forward to going to the dentist. If you are looking for an outstanding dentist with an excellent staff; look no further, Dr. Lloyd is the best of the best. From cleanings to crowns, it's always a great experience."
    Sandy C