Healthy smiles begin at home. Here is what you can do to help keep your teeth and gums in the best shape possible between dental visits:
- Brush as least twice a day for two full minutes. The best times are after breakfast and just before bedtime.
- Floss at least once a day with string floss, wrapping the floss around the tooth and under the gumline. This helps prevent gum disease and cavities between the teeth.
- Brush your tongue. There are lots of bacteria that your tongue harbors that can lead to bad breath, cavities and gum disease. Use a tongue scraper or your toothbrush to brush off the debris that collects on your tongue.
- Use an electric toothbrush. Manual toothbrushes can be as good as electric toothbrushes, but they require a lot more effort on your part and most people just don't do as good of a job as they can with an electric toothbrush. Whether you use a manual or electric toothbrush, always use soft bristles.
- Use an anticavity rinse before bed if you are prone to cavities.
- Use a Waterpik or other water flosser (in addition to string floss, not instead of it) if you are prone to gum disease or bleeding gums.
- Avoid sugary, starchy, or acidic snacks and beverages. When you do eat or drink them, rinse your mouth out with water to neutralize the pH and remove debris that acts as food for bacteria and causes cavities and gum disease. Brushing afterwards is great if you can, but do not brush immediately after consuming acidic beverages- neutralize the pH with water or time (30 minutes) to reduce tooth wear.
- Wear a night guard to reduce chips, fractures and wear of teeth, as well as reducing sore muscles and jaws. We will examine your teeth for wear at your dental visits- please give us a call if you think you may be grinding your teeth at night or clenching frequently.