A healthy, beautiful smile that lasts a lifetime is our quest when treating patients. Your personal home care plays a key role in achieving that goal. Your personal home care begins by eating nutritious meals, reducing the number of sweet snacks you eat, and correctly using the many dental aids that help control the bacteria and plaque that cause dental problems.
Tooth brushing – We recommend brushing your teeth at least 2X a day (especially before going to bed ) with a soft bristled brush and fluoridated toothpaste.
- Brush using a small, circular motion, placing the brush at a 45 degree angle to the tissues (gums).
- Brush the inner, outer, and biting surfaces of each tooth.
- Brush your tongue to freshen your breath and remove bacteria.
- Clean the inside of the front teeth by using the tip of the brush.
We also recommend electric toothbrushes (Sonicare and Oral-B are excellent brands). They are simple to use and can remove plaque in an efficient way. As you simply place the bristles of the electric brush on your gums and teeth, allow the brush to do its job, several teeth at a time.
Flossing – Flossing daily is the best way to clean under the gumline and between the teeth. Flossing disrupts plaque colonies from building up and helps clean these spaces, preventing damage to the teeth, gums, and bone.
- Take 10-14 inches of dental floss and wrap it around your middle fingers, leaving about 2 inches of floss between the hands.
- Curve the floss under the gumline and into a “C” shape around each tooth. Carefully move the floss up and down, cleaning the side of each tooth.
- Using your forefingers and thumbs to guide the floss, carefully insert the floss between teeth using a back and forth motion.
Many types of floss holders can be found at your local pharmacy if you have difficulty using conventional floss.
Rinsing – It is important to simply rinse your mouth with water after brushing and flossing, 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 Dr. Braithwaite or the dental hygienist whether its appropriate for you.
Use other dental aids as recommended by Dr. Braithwaite or the dental hygienist: Irrigation devices, interdental brushes, medicated rinses, tongue cleaners, fluoride, etc., can all play a role in good dental home care.