The first step to a beautiful, healthy smile is good home care habits. These good habits start with maintaining a balanced diet that includes a limited amount of snacking, and proper brushing and flossing techniques to control bacteria and plaque buildup.
Tooth brushing – It is imperative to brush teeth at least twice a day, in the morning and especially at night before going to bed. Always use a soft bristle tooth brush and toothpaste when brushing your teeth.
- When brushing your teeth, place the tooth brush at a 45 degree angle so the bristles touch the tooth surface and the gum tissue. Use small, circular movements with light pressure making sure to brush the tooth and gum line.
- Brush the outer surface by your cheek, inner surface by your tongue, and biting surface of each tooth.
- Clean the inside of your front teeth using the tip of the tooth brush
- Use your tooth brush to brush your tongue to remove bacteria and plaque buildup. You can also use a tongue scraper to help prevent bad breath.
We highly recommend electric toothbrushes for optimal plaque control and oral health. Studies have shown that electric toothbrushes can remove plaque and bacteria more effectively if used properly. Electric toothbrushes do the brushing for you, just place the bristles at a 45 degree angle to the tooth and gum tissue and slowly move the brush from tooth to tooth.
Flossing – Another crucial part to good home care habits is daily flossing to thoroughly remove plaque and bacteria from in between the teeth where the tooth brush bristles cannot reach. Flossing is the most important way to prevent destruction to the teeth, gums, and bone.
- Take 12-16 inches of dental floss (about the length from your elbow to your palm) and wrap it around your middle fingers. Leave about 2 inches of floss between your hands, making sure the floss is taught.
- Use your thumbs and forefingers to guide the floss in between the teeth. Use a gentle seesaw motion to work the floss between the teeth.
- As the floss comes down to the gum line be sure to curve the floss in a “C” shape, hugging the floss against the tooth surface. Move the floss up and down in between the teeth.
There are many flossing aides, such as floss holders, available to make flossing easier.
Rinsing – Mouth rinses are another great aide to your daily routine as they help remove bacteria and plaque build up. It is also important to rinse your mouth with water after meals if you are unable to brush your teeth.