Spring cleaning is a great way to clean your home thoroughly and get your house in order before spring arrives. While you are cleaning, do not forget to pay equal attention to your oral health. Learn more about good oral hygiene practices so you can throw out the bad habits that you have been wrongly cultivating.

Do you know when you should swap your old toothbrush for a new one?

Overused toothbrushes are known to be a common breeding ground for germs. Hence, it is pertinent that you know how to take care of it and even when to change it, to keep yourself healthy. Many dental professionals agree that it is imperative that you get a new toothbrush once every three months. After three months, your toothbrush will become less effective from constant wear and tear. In addition, the bristles of the old toothbrush will start to break down and lose their overall effectiveness when tackling the tight corners around your teeth.

If you have recently caught a cold or the flu, including a sore throat or a mouth infection, you should change your toothbrush immediately after you have recovered. The reason why you need to do so is because germs are prone to hiding in the toothbrush’s bristles and can lead to re-infection.

Is your oral care regime effective?

• Check for signs of bleeding gums

Occasional bleeding of the gums is nothing to fear about as it you may be simply brushing too hard or your dentures do not fit correctly. If you are experiencing frequent episodes of gum bleeding, it is a sign of gum disease (periodontitis). Ensure that you get your teeth and gums checked by a dentist right away.

• Check for signs of plaque buildup

Plaque is identified as a colorless and sticky film of bacteria that forms along our gum line and on our teeth. If there is a build up, the trapped bacteria will cause cavities and other gum diseases. They have to be removed by proper and regular brushing and flossing as there is a chance they may harden and form tartar. Plaque is not necessarily easy to see, so you must ensure that you adhere to all your scheduled dental appointments.

• Check to see if you are brushing and flossing correctly

Learning how to brush and floss correctly and regularly are the cornerstones of good oral hygiene. For starters, you should brush for at least two minutes as it allows you to remove minute food particles and plaque from your teeth. Do not brush right after a meal when your teeth’s enamel is softened. Brushing at this time will only increase your risk of enamel erosion. Wait for at least an hour before brushing your teeth.

Flossing is a very important habit to cultivate and it is best done before bed. It will help you remove remaining food particle from the day. For starters, you can choose between unwaxed and waxed floss. If you prefer floss that slides easily between teeth and is less likely to shred, opt for the waxed versions. You should always start with a length that is long enough to wrap around your finger. Start by flossing gently and in an up-and-down motion. When you floss the base of each tooth, curve the floss in a C-shape.