At our Raleigh dental office, we want all of our patients to have a beautiful, healthy smile every day for a lifetime. Your daily oral health routine at home plays an important part of keeping that healthy smile. Your home care consists of eating a balanced diet, limiting your sugar intake, and using proper brushing and flossing to help prevent plaque and bacteria from causing dental disease.
Proper Way to Brush your Teeth
The ADA recommends that you brush your teeth at least twice a day (morning and night) with a soft bristle toothbrush and toothpaste. To properly brush your teeth, use the following guidelines:
- Hold your toothbrush at a 45-degree angle against your gums. Use a gentle, small circular motion to ensuring that the bristles are always on your gums.
- Make sure you brush all the surfaces of each tooth: the inner, the outer, and the biting surfaces.
- Clean the inside of the front teeth using the tip of your toothbrush.
- Don’t forget to brush your tongue to remove bacteria and help give you fresh breath.
- Try using an electric toothbrush to easily remove plaque. An electric toothbrush does its job and all you have to do is place the brush on your gums and teeth.
Flossing your teeth daily is the best way for cleaning those hard-to-reach spaces between the teeth and under the gums that your toothbrush can’t get to. Not only does flossing help clean these spaces, but it also helps to prevent plaque from building up and causing damage to the gums and teeth.
To properly floss, use 12-16 inches (30-40 cm) of dental floss, wrap it around your fingers so there is roughly 2 inches of floss left between your hands. Put the floss in between your teeth and make a sawing motion, using your thumb and forefingers to guide the floss.
Get under the gumline by curving the floss into a “C” shape around each tooth. As the floss is wrapped around each tooth, gently slide the floss up and down the tooth, cleaning the sides. If you have trouble holding traditional dental floss, try using a floss holder.
On top of brushing and flossing, it’s important to rinse your mouth also. Rinse with water after you brush your teeth, and also after eating meals when you can’t brush right away. Rinsing helps to wash away food residue and bacteria that could otherwise stick to teeth and cause decay. If you are interested in using an over-the-counter fluoride rinse or mouthwash, talk to our Raleigh dentist at your next visit.
Other dental health aids can be recommended by Dr. Schmorr if you’re interested. Tools like tongue cleaners, irrigation devices, interdental brushes, and other tools can all play an important role in your home care.