Throughout the centuries, advice given on the subject of proper dental hygiene has changed dramatically. It was once thought that covering a tooth in honey was a remedy for cavities.
The home dental routine we’ve used for the last 100 years has changed with the development of hygiene products, dietary changes, and new information on the effects of acids on our teeth and gums. All of this has given us much to consider about when and how to brush, floss, and rinse for healthiest smiles, including the following practices:
Choose a Brush With a Small Head and Bristles that Vary in Length - Pick an ADA approved toothbrush whose head and bristles are small enough to reach into the more difficult to navigate areas of your smile. An electric toothbrush is recommended for children or those with motor skill or mobility issues.
Proper Brushing Technique - Hold your brush at a 45-degree angle to your teeth and gums and use short back and forth strokes to clean the front and side surfaces of your teeth. When brushing the backs of your teeth, use shorter strokes, while holding the toothbrush vertically.
The ADA recommends brushing for at least two minutes, twice daily, including your tongue. Over brushing can wear down enamel while under brushing allows decay causing bacteria more time to damage your smile.
Don’t brush immediately after eating or drinking anything acidic, including sodas and citrus juices, as this can cause enamel erosion.
Use Floss or Interdental Brushes - Cleaning food particles stuck between teeth is especially important, as those are the areas where most cavities begin. Move your floss up and down against the sides your teeth. Do not merely slide it through, as doing so is not effective at removing debris.
If you have problems with floss, interdental brushes are thin pieces of plastic with tiny brushes along the end that are easier to use, much like a tooth pick but more effective.
Drink Water - Drinking water is good for your overall health and it helps rinse away acids and debris that can be left on and in-between your teeth.
Use a Fluoride Dental Rinse - Fluoride rinses are becoming popular. They help to mineralize teeth and reduce the damage that oral bacteria can cause in between brushing. Rinsing also helps dislodge pieces of food that may have been left behind. Follow the instructions of your mouthwash; some are meant to be used before brushing and others after. Avoid rinses that contain alcohol.
Designs in Dentistry provides a wide range of comprehensive dental services. Call us today if you are seeking dental care near Folsom, CA.