Only 4 in 10 Americans floss daily and 20% never floss, according to the 2014 Delta Dental Oral Health and Well-Being Survey. Flossing at least once a day is an essential part of oral health — it helps keep plaque at bay and can reduce your risk of gum disease.
Brush morning and night
More than 30% of Americans skip nighttime brushing, according to the same 2014 survey. Brushing before bed helps remove a whole day’s worth of food particles and bacteria. But when you go to bed without brushing, cavity-causing plaque can grow on your teeth all night long.
Commit to two minutes
Your brushing sessions should last for two minutes to ensure you’re reaching all the nooks and crannies in your mouth — but it can be surprisingly hard to guess how long that is if you’re not looking at a clock. You can keep this resolution by trying the toothbrush timer on Delta Dental’s free mobile app or using a simple stopwatch.
Make a dental appointment
Seeing a dentist regularly means that any oral health issues you may have can be identified early, saving you time and money in the long run. Plus, people who visit the dentist on a regular basis tend to have better oral health and better overall well-being, so it’s well worth your time.
Drink more water
Drinking water is just as beneficial for your mouth as it is for the rest of your body. Staying hydrated can prevent dry mouth and helps rinse food particles and bacteria away from teeth. Carrying a refillable water bottle is a convenient and eco-friendly way to stay well-watered — and if you fill it with tap water, you’ll also benefit from a fluoride boost, in communities with fluoridation.