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.
Tooth brushing – 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 gently brush using a small, circular motion, ensuring that you always feel the bristles on the gums. (Do NOT brush up and down or side to side, and especially do NOT scrub too hard or you will end up damaging your teeth and gingiva (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 (consider purchasing a tongue cleaner/scraper to remove debris or bacteria from your tongue).
Electric toothbrushes are highly 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. A nice thing about electric toothbrushes is that they are a great way for patients with manual dexterity problems to be able to brush their teeth more easily.
Flossing – Daily flossing (we recommend flossing at night before going to sleep). It 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 building up, preventing damage to the gums, teeth, and bone.
Floss holders are recommended if you have difficulty using conventional floss.
Rinsing – 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 dentist or dental hygienist on its appropriateness for you.
A good antimicrobial mouthwash is Listerine, and we recommend rinsing twice a day. It is the only nationally branded antimicrobial mouthwash to receive the ADA seal of acceptance for fighting plaque and gingivitis (as taken from the Listerine website 2012).
Use other dental aids as recommended by your dentist or dental hygienist: Interdental brushes, rubber tip stimulators, tongue cleaners, irrigation devices, fluoride, medicated rinses, etc., can all play a role in good dental home care.