Proper Dental Hygiene
If you’re really on top of your dental care, you brush your teeth several times each day. And while daily maintenance is critical to keeping a healthy mouth and smile, how you care for your teeth is especially important if you want that care to be effective.
Your dentist would be more than happy to discuss proper post-visit care and maintenance with you at your next visit and answer any questions you might have.
Is There a “Right” Way to Brush?
You put fluoride toothpaste on your toothbrush and brush those teeth clean. Or do you? Here are some tips for healthy and effective brushing:
- Use a soft toothbrush with rounded bristles that is small enough to reach all areas of your mouth.
- Hold the toothbrush at a 45 degree angle with the bristles placed just under the gum line.
- Brush all teeth surfaces (inner, outer and top), using back and forth, very gentle motions that are most effective at removing plaque.
- Brush the inside upper and lower front teeth by holding the toothbrush vertically and gently brush using up and down strokes.
- Don’t forget to brush your tongue to remove the bacteria that forms there, bacteria which lead to bad breath.
- Thorough tooth brushing should take 2-3 minutes – be sure to use a clock with a second hand or a timer! Most people don’t brush nearly that long.
- Change your toothbrush every 3-4 months or when the bristles show signs of wear.
- Brush at least every morning and every night before bed.
What is the Correct Way to Floss?
Proper flossing is equally important as it helps to remove plaque build up before it can do some serious damage to your teeth.
Tips for proper flossing:
- Start with a piece of dental floss (waxed is easier to work with) that is 18 inches long.
- Wrap one end of the dental floss around your index or middle finger of one hand, and the other end on the same finger of your opposite hand. Grasp the floss tightly between each finger and your thumb.
- Gently glide the dental floss beneath your teeth just under the gum line and along both sides of each tooth. Move the floss up and down several times to dislodge and remove the plaque.
- Don’t forget about the back teeth, especially the back of the last molar on top and bottom of each side.
- Floss at least once a day.
At-Home Dental Care Matters
There’s no better way to maintain those pearly whites and a healthy smile than through home follow-up care that’s necessary to preserve the foundation for healthy teeth and gums.
If you have any questions about proper home dental care, feel free to call a participating dentist in your area.