The primary goal of dentistry is a lifelong healthy, beautiful smile. A good home care regimen is a vital adjunct to regular dental checkups. Caring for your teeth in between visits starts with a nutritious diet, minimal snacking, and the use of dental tools such as toothbrush and floss to remove plaque and bacteria that can lead to disease and decay.
Your home care regimen should include:
- Regular brushing – Teeth should be brushed twice a day, most importantly before bed with an ADA approved soft bristle brush and fluoride-free toothpaste.
- The brush should be held at a 45-degree angle against the gums. Brush gently in small circles. For most effective cleaning, the bristles should maintain contact with the gums. Aim for a good massage of the gums during brushing.
- Thoroughly brush inner, outer, and biting surfaces of every tooth.
- Clean the back of each front tooth carefully with the tip of the toothbrush.
- Thoroughly brush your tongue to remove bacteria and freshen breath.
- Electric toothbrushes are far more effective at removing plaque and bacteria. Many people find them more fun and easier to use as well. Place the bristles against your teeth and gum line, the toothbrush will clean several teeth at once.
- Use ozone infused water to kill anaerobic bacteria and prevent (and sometimes even reverse) gum disease. A recommended 1000mgh ozone unit infuses water in the reservoir of a water pik, which is then used to irrigate the gums. Home ozonizing units can be purchased directly from Brighton Dental San Diego.
- Floss daily – Brushing is great for cleaning most of the tooth’s surface, but can’t reach between your teeth or under the gumline. This is where flossing comes in. Flossing removes plaque and bacteria that can accumulate in these areas and prevent damage to the teeth, gums, and even the bone.
- Wrap about 18 inches of floss around the middle finger of each hand. You’ll need a couple of inches of floss between your fingers.
- Use your forefingers and thumbs to guide the floss between the teeth. Use a back and forth sawing motion to work the floss between the teeth.
- With the floss in an angled shape, clean around the sides of each tooth and under the gums.
- Gently move the floss up and down to clean the full length of the tooth.
- If traditional floss is hard to use, floss holders can make the floss easier to hold, while dental tape may be easier to work between the teeth.
- Rinse – After you brush, rinse your mouth with water to remove the plaque, bacteria, and food particles that have been dislodged by brushing and flossing.
- Be sure to rinse after every meal or snack, whether you brush or not.
- Talk to your dentist or hygienist if you use an over the counter rinse to make sure it meets your needs.
- Use any other tools or techniques recommended by your dentist. These may include rubber tip stimulators, tongue cleaners, interdental brushes, oral irrigators, or medicated rinses. Any of these items can be a valuable supplement to brushing, flossing, and rinsing.
If you would like professional help with your oral hygiene, call us at (619) 640-5100.