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Proper oral hygiene is an important part of a healthy life. The mouth is the gateway to the body. Recent studies are proving oral health has more to do with over all health than was commonly thought. Your oral health can affect diseases such as Diabetes and Heart Disease. Making oral hygiene as efficient as possible promotes follow through. When something is too hard or takes too much time, we don’t want to do it. Here are the top 10 tips to make it easier and more productive:

1. Use a timer. It’s important to brush for a full 2 minutes. Using a timer allows you to brush for the exact amount of time and not worry about brushing for too little or too much time.

2. Use a floss aid. Regular floss is hard for some people to use, which means it is commonly not used. There are numerous floss aids on the market that make flossing quick, easy, and just as effective as regular floss. A popular flosser is the Reach Access Flosser.

3. Make it a habit. Pick a time to brush your teeth every day. A good example is right when you wake up and right before you go to bed. If you brush, floss, and rinse at the same time every day you are less likely to forget.

4. Start in the same spot every time. Choose one part of you mouth to start brushing in every time. For example, start with the upper right and work your way around your mouth. If you start in the same spot every time you’ll be less likely to forget to brush one area.

5. Avoid sports drinks. A new study published in RDH shows sports and energy drinks are just as bad for your teeth, or worse, than juice and soda. Try to limit these beverages to when needed (after strenuous physical activity), use a straw to limit exposure to tooth enamel, and rinse with water afterward.

6. Use mouth wash for 30 seconds. It is unnecessary to rinse for any longer than 30 seconds. That is all the time you need to kill the bacteria in your mouth.

7. Don’t brush too hard. Brushing harder won’t help remove more plaque. It may even abrade your enamel and cause damage to your gums. Using a soft bristled toothbrush will also help avoid abrasion.

8. Check for the ADA seal. We encourage patients to choose any toothpaste they prefer, as long as it has the ADA seal. By choosing an ADA approved product you can be sure it has been thoroughly tested to be safe and effective.

9. Chew sugar-free gum. Chewing sugar-free gum after eating can help reduce the amount of acid in the mouth and dislodge particles on and between the teeth. However, if you have TMJ, gum chewing is not recommended.

10. Ask for personalized suggestions. Don’t be afraid to ask your dentist or hygienist for personalized recommendations to make taking care of your oral health more productive.