Take Care of your Teeth and They’ll Take Care of You: Important Home Oral Care Steps
While scheduling regular dental checkups is key to maintaining the health of your teeth and gums, a proper home oral care is equally important! Having a good home health care routine can not only prevent you from developing tooth decay or more serious gum disease, it can also promote your overall health and your confidence in your smile!
The two most important steps in a proper home oral care routine are brushing and flossing. Brushing and flossing on a regular schedule ensures that harmful plaque doesn’t build up on your teeth and gums.
When it comes to brushing your teeth, there are a few important things to keep in mind. The first thing is to always brush your teeth at least twice a day, ideally after you have eaten breakfast and right before you go to bed. Brushing after breakfast ensures you are starting your day with clean teeth and brushing right before bed prevents plaque from building up on your teeth while you sleep.
Other things to keep in mind are what you are brushing your teeth with and how you are brushing your teeth. Unless otherwise instructed, you should choose a soft bristled toothbrush and a fluoride toothpaste. While a manual brush can do the job, an electric toothbrush often provides better cleaning results.
For a thorough cleaning, you should be sure to brush both the front and back surfaces of your teeth, angling the brush at a 45-degree angle, and finishing by brushing your gums and tongue. Each time you brush, you should brush for a least two minutes. If you use an electric toothbrush, they often have a timing mechanism which alerts you when you have brushed for the optimal time.
Flossing regularly is as important as brushing. Regular flossing reaches the spaces in between the teeth and below the gumline to reach the plaque which can lead to gum disease.
You should floss at least once a day, ideally at night so that any plaque that has accumulated on your teeth throughout the day is removed before you go to bed. You should use a generous length of floss, approximately 18 inches or more, and use a clean section of floss for each tooth.
Other Home Oral Care Options
While regular brushing and flossing are the two most important parts of your home oral care routine, there are additional options for keeping your teeth and gums their cleanest.
One of these options is a water flosser. A water flosser is an oral health appliance that provides a stream of pulsating water to floss between your teeth and below the gumline. One of the most popular brands of water flosser is WaterPik.
Water flossers can help ensure people who may otherwise have issues flossing effectively clean the spaces between their teeth. If you wear braces or other orthodontics; have had dental work that makes it difficult to floss; or if you have troubles flossing your teeth manually, a water flosser might be right for you.
Rinsing with an alcohol-free fluoride rinse is another additional option for keeping your teeth healthy at home. A fluoride rinse is particularly useful for people who are prone to cavities.
If you are serious about your smile, following a proper home oral care routine is imperative. Along with bi-annual dental checkups, home oral care is the best way to ensure that your smile stays healthy and looking its best! Remember, when you take good care of your teeth, they’ll take good care of you!