Answers to Your Most Common Dental Hygiene Questions

Answers to Your Most Common Dental Hygiene Questions

January 31, 2019

When it comes to caring for your pearly whites, you may be surprised to discover that there is a wrong and right way to brush and floss your teeth, clean your invisible aligners, and even store your toothbrush. In this quick read, we answer the most common dental hygiene questions so you can discover the right way to care for your smile.

Am I Brushing Correctly?

Believe it or not, there is a definitely a wrong way to brush your pearly whites. If you don't brush your teeth using the proper techniques, you can easily damage your protective layer of enamel or leave behind bacteria and residue to fester and spread beneath your gums.


There are a few different brushing methods floating around on the web, but we suggest you follow the guidelines set by the American Dental Association:


  • Brush gently for 2 minutes twice daily in the morning and at night.
  • Angle your toothbrush at a 45-degree angle and brush back and forth or in small, concentric circles.
  • Make sure to brush the outer and inner surfaces of every tooth and in-between teeth.
  • Use fluoride toothpaste stamped with the American Dental Association’s seal of approval.
  • Use a soft-bristled brush for a gentle, but thorough cleaning.
  • Always finish by brushing your tongue to rid your mouth of bacteria and keep your breath smelling fresh for longer. This is especially helpful if you suffer from dry mouth or chronic bad breath.

Is Flossing Really Necessary?

Flossing is absolutely, positively necessary if you want to keep your smile healthy and beautiful. Not only does flossing remove any remaining food particles that your toothbrush failed to clean up, but it also stimulates a healthy blood flow that has been linked to improving overall health and wellness.


When you floss, use enough that you can utilize a clean section of floss for between each tooth. Otherwise, you could very well reinsert bacteria and food particles into your mouth.

How Do I Care for My Invisible Aligners?

In order to remain effective and void of harmful bacteria, your invisible aligners require a certain level of care and maintenance—which will be well worth the effort when you’re flaunting your dream smile. Use these tips to care for your invisible aligners at home to protect your investment and your mouth.


  • Rinse your aligners thoroughly every time you remove them to prevent a buildup of dried saliva and bacteria.
  • Clean your retainers and the trays you keep them in twice a day—before you put them in. Only remove them to brush, eat, and to drink dark liquids.
  • Do not use toothpaste to clean your invisible aligners at home. Wash gently with antibacterial hand soap to avoid scratching or discoloring the plastic.
  • Keep your retainers looking crystal clear by soaking them in denture cleaner or retainer cleaner on a daily basis.
  • Always brush and floss your teeth before inserting your invisible aligners; otherwise, you’ll just end up trapping bacteria and residue under the plastic, which leaves you at risk to develop gum disease and other oral complications.

When Should I Replace My Toothbrush?

The standard rule of thumb for replacing an old toothbrush with a new one is every three to four months. If you're brushing gently like you should be, then the bristles will hold up for a few months. Once those bristles start to become worn, frayed, and misshapen, they lose their precision and effectiveness.

What's the Best Way to Store My Toothbrush?

The best way to keep your toothbrush free of bacteria is to store it out in the open. It's common for people to keep their toothbrush in a nifty travel case, even when they're not on the go. Little do they know, those stuffy cases can become a breeding ground for bacteria. Keep your toothbrush standing upright in a standard toothbrush holder or a small jar or cup. If you share a bathroom with other people, make sure you keep your toothbrushes separate.


Are you ready to fast track your smile and obtain the pearly whites you've always wanted? Find out how Smilelove can help you accomplish your ultimate smile goals! Learn all about how the Smilelove treatment plan works and get started today.