A beautiful, healthy smile that lasts a lifetime is our ultimate goal for you. Your personal home care plays an important role in achieving that goal. It starts at home 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. We want to set up a home care routine that will work for you over the years to come, and still be sufficient in battling oral health diseases that can easily be avoided.
How can I take care of my teeth in between dental checkups?
ALWAYS remember to brush your teeth at least two times a day and floss at least once!
Make sure to use toothpaste that contains fluoride. This will help prevent cavities. Avoid foods with a lot of sugar (sugar increases the amount of bacteria that grows in your mouth, causing more plaque and cavities) and avoid tobacco (this can stain your teeth, cause gum disease, and lead to oral cancer).
Don’t be afraid to brush your tongue! By brushing your tongue, you will remove food particles and reduce the amount of plaque-causing bacteria. Tongue brushing also helps keep your breath fresh.
Be sure to schedule your routine checkup. It is recommended that you visit the dentist at least every six months.
How often should I brush my teeth?
According to your dentist and the American Dental Association, you should be brushing your teeth at least two times a day. Brushing keeps your teeth, gums, and mouth clean and healthy by removing bacteria-causing plaque. It is also recommended that when you brush your teeth, you use a soft bristle toothbrush and toothpaste that contains fluoride. You should spend at least a minute on the top teeth and a minute on the bottom teeth, and remember to brush your tongue; it will help keep your breath smelling fresh!
How often should I change my toothbrush?
Your toothbrush will eventually wear out, especially if you are brushing your teeth two times a day for two to three minutes each time. Your dentist recommends that adults and children should change their toothbrush every three to six months. If you are using an electric toothbrush, be sure to read the directions, as you may not need to change toothbrush heads as frequently. Patients with severe gum disease are encouraged to change their toothbrush every four to six weeks in order to keep any bacteria from spreading. After brushing, rinse your toothbrush with hot water to kill germs and keep the bristles clean. If you’ve been sick, be sure to change your toothbrush as soon as possible.
Brush your teeth at least twice a day (especially before going to bed at night) with a CDA approved soft bristle brush and toothpaste.
1. Place the brush at a 45-degree angle to the gums and gently brush using a small, circular motion, ensuring that you always feel the bristles on the gums
2. Brush the outer, inner, and biting surfaces of each tooth
3. Use only the tip of the brush to clean the inside of your front teeth
4. Brush your tongue to remove bacteria and freshen your breath
Electric toothbrushes are also recommended. They are easy to use and can remove plaque efficiently. Simply place the bristles of the electric 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 gum line. Flossing cleans spaces, and prevents plaque from building up.
Take 12-16 inches (30-40 cm) of dental floss and wrap it around your middle fingers, leaving about 2 inches (5 cm) of floss between your hands
1. Using your thumbs and forefingers to guide the floss, gently insert the floss between teeth using a gentle sawing motion
2. Curve the floss into a “C” shape around each tooth and under the gum line, while gently moving the floss up and down, cleaning the side of each tooth
Floss holders are recommended if you have difficulty using conventional floss
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 ask your dentist or dental hygienist whether it’s right for you.
Other dental aids may be recommended by your dentist or dental hygienist: