Let’s make this one easy. You already have good oral and vision health habits like visiting your eye doctor and dentist, brushing and flossing your teeth, and eating healthy foods to keep your teeth, gums and eyes strong. For self-improvement month, let’s take those habits and improve them a bit. With these small improvements, you’ll make a big difference in your oral and vision health.
- Brush for a full two minutes, time yourself!
You’ve mastered your brushing technique, hitting all the tough-to-reach spots. You brush every morning, every night, and sometimes in between. Now, are you sure you’re brushing for two to three minutes? Try using a timer or playing a song (average length is three minutes). Two minutes can seem like a short amount of time, but watch the clock, you might not be brushing for long enough.
Brushing for two to three minutes allows enough time for the fluoride in your toothpaste to do its job. Also, two to three minutes is approximately how long it takes to brush every tooth. But don’t think brushing harder, or faster, can make up for shortened time. If you brush too hard, or apply too much pressure, you could hurt your enamel and gum tissue.
Can I sneak in one more small improvement with this one? Brush your tongue! It only adds another few seconds! Due to its rough surface, your tongue can be a hiding place for bacteria that causes bad breath.
- Rest your eyes
This is a fast-growing vision problem affecting everyone – digital eye strain caused by blue light from our computer screens, phones, and other devices. To improve your vision health and prevent this condition, the easiest step you can take is to limit your time in front of a screen, or, at the very least, take frequent breaks. Breaks should be every 20 minutes and at least 20 seconds. Another prevention step to consider is using glasses with blue-light filtering lenses. Because this condition is becoming commonplace, vision providers are offering this option for your lenses.
- Improve your technique
You’ve advanced your oral health care by including flossing in your routine. That’s fantastic, but we’re going to push you a little bit further to improve your flossing technique. While you’re gliding the floss between your teeth with a gentle sawing motion, improve this technique by curving the floss along the gum line and sliding up and down. This improvement will help to clean not just in between your teeth, but along the gum line.
Flossing protects your gums and helps to prevent disease. If you’ve already mastered your flossing technique, consider making improvements to your brushing technique too.
These three suggestions are a quick way to improve your dental and vision health – brush for two minutes, give your eyes a break from blue light and improve your flossing technique. And if you’re looking for more ways to improve, see last week’s blog about adding more fruits and vegetables to your menu.