A beautiful, healthy smile that lasts a lifetime is our ultimate goal when treating patients. Your personal home care plays an important role in achieving that goal. Your personal home care starts by eating balanced meals, reducing the number of snacks you eat, and correctly using the various dental aids that help control the plaque and bacteria that cause dental disease.
Brush your teeth at least twice a day (especially before going to bed at night) with an ADA approved soft bristle brush and toothpaste. Place the brush at a 45 degree angle to the gums and brush gently using small, circular motions, ensuring that you always feel the bristles on the gums. Brush the outer, inner, and biting surfaces of each tooth. Use the tip of the brush to clean the inside of the front teeth. Brush your tongue to remove bacteria and freshen your breath. Make sure you are brushing for at least 2 minutes. Electric toothbrushes are also recommended. They are easy to use and can remove plaque efficiently. Simply place the bristles of the brush on your gums and teeth and allow the brush to do its job, several teeth at a time.
Daily flossing is the best way to clean between the teeth and under the gumline. Flossing not only helps clean these spaces, it disrupts plaque colonies from adhering to teeth, preventing damage to the gums, and bone. Take 12-16 inches of dental floss and wrap it around your middle fingers, leaving about 2 inches of floss between the hands. Using your thumbs and forefingers to guide the floss, gently insert the floss between teeth using a sawing motion. Curve the floss into a “C” shape around each tooth and under the gumline. Gently move floss up and down, cleaning the sides of each tooth. Floss holders are recommended if you have difficulty using conventional floss. Waxed floss or dentotape are the best for removing plaque, massaging the gums and preventing decay.
It is important to rinse your mouth with water after brushing, and also after meals if you are unable to brush. If you are using an over-the-counter product for rinsing, it’s a good idea to consult with your dental hygienist to pick the one most suitable for you.
Your hygienist or dentist may recommend other dental aids such as: Interdental brushes Rubber tip stimulators. Tongue cleaners Irrigation devices Medicated rinses Fluoride, etc. All can play an important role in good dental home care.