Tips for Home Dental Care

Tips for Home Dental Care

By Carolyn Holmes

April 16th, 2020

I hope this writing finds everyone well! I thought it was important during these crazy times when your friendly Spartanburg dental office pros aren’t available to share some valuable information on home dental care. We can partner with you to guide your home care to be its best. Why? Because, ultimately, your teeth belong to you to care for the 360+ days we aren’t with you! So, let’s get your home care in tip-top shape. And how’s that? You might not be surprised to hear that brushing, flossing and rinsing are very important.

Start with flossing

The purpose of flossing is to remove plaque and food debris from areas your toothbrush cannot reach. What’s the best floss? My answer is, and will always be, the best floss is the one you will use! There are floss picks, waxed, unwaxed and woven—find the one you like and use it. It doesn’t matter if I like your floss or not, you need to like it and effectively use it.

Effective flossing means you move your floss underneath the V-shaped tissue (papilla) between every tooth about 2mm, move the floss up and down, and do this to every tooth. This will break up the colony formed by the bacteria. This colony must be interrupted every 24 hours to avoid inflammation and infection of the tissues. Since we are trying to have ultimate home care during this time, try to floss two times each day.

Tips to most effectively brush your teeth

Now that we’ve flossed, let’s move the bacteria even further from our mouths by brushing. Make sure you’re using a soft toothbrush and light pressure. Why light pressure? If you brush too heavy-handed, the bristles will flare, then you’re trying to clean with the sides of the brush instead of the bristles as intended. If you’ve ever tried to scrub a surface with a flattened brush you know what I mean; it just doesn’t work very well. Also, change your toothbrush out every 3 months or after any sickness.

Brush in a very gentle circular motion for at least 2 minutes, making sure to brush up to the tissue and between teeth. Since we are ramping up our home care during this time, I’m going to suggest brushing three times each day. Brushing will loosen the plaque (bacteria) from your teeth and gums.

I’m often asked, which is the best toothpaste? Once again, I will say that unless you are using a prescription toothpaste, just find the one you like and tolerate well. I personally like a basic toothpaste because some of the toothpastes on the market today have harsh additives. These additives can cause a sensitivity or reaction. I personally use one of the following: Crest, Aquafresh or Colgate with no additives.

Don’t forget to rinse well

We have now loosened plaque, food and bacteria from the oral cavity. Next, let’s rinse it away. An effective rinse I recommend is Listerine Total Care Zero. This product contains essential oils, fluoride and no alcohol to dry the tissues. These properties help to further eliminate bacteria. Also, the mechanical motion of swishing loosens and removes residual plaque and bacteria not removed by flossing and brushing. Swish for 30 seconds, spit out and repeat. This should be done two times daily. This is especially important at night and shouldn’t be followed with any food or drink (except for water, if necessary).

Okay my Spartanburg dental family, there you have it! All of the secrets to be successful in keeping your mouth healthy and your teeth cavity-free. Remember, your mouth is your body’s first line of defense, as well as the largest portal of entry. A healthy mouth can lead to a healthy life.

Please know you are loved and missed by everyone here at Cedar Spring Family Dentistry. Each and every patient has a special place in our practice. I like to say there is no us without you! We will be together again soon. Remain safe!

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