South Austin Dentist HasTips for Proper Daily Oral Hygiene

Freshen Your Breath: Clean Your Tongue

Do you brush your teeth thoroughly, drink plenty of water, and still have bad breath? You may be missing your tongue. Bacteria often deposit on the back of the tongue. Use a tongue scraper or toothbrush bristles to remove the bacteria and cleanse your tongue. With each swipe, rinse the scraper or toothbrush to remove bacteria so you do not replace it on your tongue.

Avoid Gum Recession: Don’t Brush Too Hard

Some people believe harsh brushing removes more surface stains and more thoroughly cleans your teeth. While firm pressure against your teeth is necessary, brushing too hard can cause gum recession or even tooth wear. Eroded enamel from aggressive brushing can leave your smile vulnerable to tooth decay. If you are bleeding during regular brushing, try exerting less pressure. The American Dental Association recommends using a soft bristled brush. Dr. Van Wicklen can tell you if you are brushing too hard at your next dental examination and recommend fluoride treatments to build back your enamel protection.

Brush with Purpose: Stop Multitasking

Many of us are guilty of wandering about the house or bathroom during brushing, preparing for the rest of the day or night. Instead of multitasking, pay attention to how you are brushing your teeth. You may realize that your distracted brushing habits lead to incomplete brushing. Make sure that each time you brush your teeth that you spend at least two minutes cleaning your smile.

Prevent Gum Disease: Always Floss

Just as important as brushing, flossing is an often ignored step for complete oral hygiene. Brushing your teeth does not remove all food particles from the crevices of your teeth and the small spaces between each tooth. Removing bacteria from between gums and teeth is essential to preventing gum disease. Use about a forearm’s length of dental floss daily, winding each end around your middle fingers and using your index finger and thumb to guide the floss at an angle between each tooth. To remind yourself, leave the floss on the sink next to your toothbrush, instead of hidden away in a drawer or cabinet.

Dr. Steven Van Wicklen will be glad to help you improve your daily oral hygiene by addressing your questions and  concerns at your next dental cleaning. To schedule an appointment, contact our dentist office, located in Austin, Texas, by phone at (512) 448-3131 or online at