The main goal of our dental office team is to provide our patients with healthy, good-looking smiles that will last them a lifetime. Taking good care of your teeth at home goes a long way in achieving such a smile. Incorporating healthy meals into your diet, reducing the number of snacks you eat and brushing and flossing your teeth daily will all help reduce your chances of dental disease.
When brushing your teeth, hold the toothbrush at a 45 degree angle to the gums. Use small, circular motions to brush your teeth and make sure you can feel the brush’s bristles on your gums. Make sure to brush the whole surface of each tooth – the outer and inner sides and the biting surface. To clean the inside of the front teeth, use the tip of your toothbrush. Remove extra bacteria from your mouth by also brushing your tongue. This will also help freshen your breath. You should brush your teeth at least twice a day, especially right before you go to bed. In addition, an ADA-approved toothpaste and soft bristle toothbrush will make a difference in the effectiveness of your routine.
We recommend electric toothbrushes like Sonicare and Braun. They are the most effective in removing plaque while still being gentle on your gums and teeth. To use an electric toothbrush, put the bristles on your teeth and let the brush do the rest.
Daily flossing allows you to clean between the teeth and under the gum line, while at the same time preventing plaque buildup and protecting your gums and teeth from the damage that plaque can cause.
When you floss, use 12-16 inches (30-40 cm). Wrap the floss around your middle fingers and leave a couple inches between your hands. Guide the floss between your teeth with your thumbs and forefingers, using a back-and-forth motion. Curve the floss around each tooth and make sure to get under the gum line, gently moving the floss up and down along the side of the tooth. If you struggle with conventional floss, try using a floss holder.
Rinsing your mouth with water after brushing (and after meals if you don’t have a chance to brush) is another important step in home dental care. If you like to use an over-the-counter product for rinsing, you can talk with your dentist or hygienist to find out the best one for you.
Other tools to improve your dental health
Depending on your dental health, your dentist might recommend that you also use other dental aids, such as tongue cleaners, rubber-tipped gum stimulators, irrigation devices, interdental brushes, medicated rinses and fluoride.
Learn more about home dental care – Contact your Salem dentists at Oak Park Family Dental.