In addition to in-office dental care visits, patients can do other things to take care of their teeth and gums at home. Dentists often give their patients advice on how to keep the insides of their mouths healthy and safe from cavities, gum disease, and other problems in-between visits.
Brush Regularly and Correctly
Patients are usually advised to brush their teeth twice daily to remove the germs and food particles that can cause cavities and other dental problems. Brushing correctly involves using a “pea” size amount of toothpaste on a toothbrush and then cleaning the back molars first by brushing in circular motions. Be sure to brush the outside, top, and inside surfaces of all your teeth. Brushing should progress to the front teeth with the entire process lasting approximately two minutes.
Learn Proper Flossing Technique
Dentists also like to make sure that their patients are flossing using the proper technique so that food is thoroughly removed from in between the teeth. The floss should be wrapped around each middle finger and slid between each of the teeth using a gentle rocking motion. Starting at the top and center teeth, the floss should be wrapped into a c-curve around each tooth while making eight to ten floss strokes before moving onto the next set of teeth.
Change Toothbrush Every Three Months
The bristles on a toothbrush will eventually wear down with use. Brushing the teeth with sprayed bristles will be ineffective at cleaning the teeth and gums adequately. It’s best to change a toothbrush every three months or after about with a contagious illness such as a cold or the flu.
Keep the Mouth Hydrated
A dehydrated mouth could allow more bacteria and other germs to thrive and wreak havoc on the teeth and gums. Drinking plenty of water or other fluids that don’t contain sugar or acidic properties is a great way to keep the mouth hydrated. Chewing on a piece of sugarless gum can also help the mouth stay hydrated by generating more production of saliva, which also has natural antibacterial properties.
Keeping the teeth and gums healthy in between visits to the dentist is possible with the right type of at-home care. Patients who do everything possible to safeguard their oral health will make each dentist appointment easier for themselves and their dentists.