While your routine teeth cleaning and oral exam at Clermont Family Dentistry & Dentures are a key part of keeping your teeth healthy, great dental hygiene starts at home. That’s why you need to make sure that you are taking proper care of your teeth on a day-to-day basis.
Brushing Your Teeth – Prevent Cavities and Keep Your Teeth Clean
You need to brush your teeth at least twice per day, for at least two minutes. It is recommended that you brush once in the morning when you wake up, and once before you go to sleep. Saliva helps to wash away plaque but because you do not make as much saliva while you sleep, you are more susceptible to plaque buildup at night. Brushing in the morning helps eliminate plaque that forms overnight, and brushing at night removes food particles and bacteria before you sleep.
Whether you use an electric toothbrush or a manual toothbrush, it is important to make sure you are brushing for at least 2 minutes. Hold your toothbrush at a 45-degree angle to your teeth, and gently rotate it to clean the gum line as well as the front, tops, and backs of your teeth to make sure every surface of your smile is protected.
Choosing the Right Toothpaste – Fluoride Is Key!
Despite what some people may try to make you believe, fluoride is not harmful. In fact, fluoride-containing toothpaste is the best way to fight back against cavities. Fluoride has the ability to strengthen your teeth and combat cavities.
Make sure you use a toothpaste with fluoride for the most effective cavity prevention. Also, make sure to avoid charcoal “whitening” toothpaste. This type of toothpaste is highly abrasive, and can permanently damage your teeth.
Flossing Your Teeth – Fight Back Against Gum Disease
Flossing is the best way to prevent gum disease and remove food and plaque from between your teeth. Brushing alone is not enough to remove all of the debris and bacteria from your mouth, so it is important to floss at least once per day. It can be tricky to perfect your technique, but proper flossing really makes a difference.
Other At-Home Dental Hygiene Products and Tools
In addition to brushing and flossing, there are a few other tools you can implement to step up your at-home care. Some of the tools that we recommend include:
- Mouthwash – Mouthwash is no substitute for brushing, but it can help reduce bad breath and the risk of cavities. However, you shouldn’t use it right after brushing because it will wash away the fluoride from your toothpaste.
Instead, consider using mouthwash at a time when you would not normally brush, like after lunch. This can help eliminate bacteria and food particles from your mouth, preventing cavities and decay from ever forming.
- Water flossers – Water flossers like the Waterpik can help clean away debris from your mouth, but are not a substitute for flossing. If you do use a water flosser, we recommend flossing first, then using your water flosser to remove any remaining debris from your mouth.
- Tongue scrapers – Tongue scrapers can help with bad breath, but they have not really been shown to have any other benefits. Instead of using a tongue scraper, you can get similar results by simply brushing your tongue with your toothbrush. However, tongue scrapers are not harmful when used properly, so you can use one if you like the clean, fresh feeling it gives you.
Schedule a Professional Cleaning Now at Clermont Family Dentistry & Dentures
As part of your dental hygiene routine, you should make sure that you see Dr. Buechele at Clermont Family Dentistry & Dentures for a routine cleaning and oral exam. During this appointment, we can remove plaque and tartar that you cannot remove on your own.
To schedule your next appointment, contact us now at (352) 242-1763, or stop by our office at 12344 Roper Blvd, Clermont, FL 34711. We look forward to seeing you soon!