9 Home Dental Care Tips: Directly from a Dentist
Everyone wants sparkling white teeth, fresh breath, and healthy gums, but how do you achieve and maintain this? The answer: consistently practicing good at-home oral care.
Here are nine home oral care tips to get your smile looking amazing!
- Fix Existing Issues
If you have existing dental issues such as a cavity or chipped tooth, even the best at-home dental care routine won’t be enough to restore your smile. Since your teeth can’t repair themselves, existing oral health problems will only worsen without professional intervention.
Most of the time, we can fix issues like cavities or chipped teeth in one visit with sealants, inlays, or onlays or fillings.
- Brush Your Teeth Twice Per Day
Regularly brushing your teeth is a must to maintain good oral health. However, you have to be sure to use the right tools and techniques to get the most out of brushing.
Use the Right Toothbrush
To prevent damage to your teeth and gums, you should use a soft-bristled toothbrush. The head of the brush should be small enough to comfortably fit in all areas of your mouth.
Your handle should also be comfortable to hold. Uncomfortable handles can limit how well you brush your teeth. If you have medical reasons preventing you from effectively using a manual brush, an electric toothbrush is a great alternative.
Pick the Right Toothpaste
There are dozens of toothpaste brands on the market, so it can be hard to choose the right one. Talk to your dentist about which one they recommend for your specific wants and needs.
For example, if you have sensitive teeth, they might recommend specialized toothpaste.
Correct Brushing Technique
Effectively brushing your teeth isn’t as simple as moving the toothbrush back and forth. Brushing like this will cause the bristles to skip over the low-lying areas and leave behind plaque.
Instead, you should brush in a circular motion to make sure you are getting the entire surface of your tooth.
You should also lightly brush your gum line with the toothbrush tilted at a 45-degree angle toward your gums. This will help to remove hard-to-get plaque beneath them.
When you are finished brushing your teeth, you should spit out excess toothpaste, but don’t rinse your mouth. You should also refrain from eating or drinking anything for about 30 minutes after you finish brushing. Rinsing, drinking, and eating will wash away the fluoride in the remaining toothpaste.
- Floss at Least Once Per Day
Flossing is an important part of proper home oral care. Doing it once a day during your nightly routine can work wonders for your dental health. It keeps your gums healthy and removes food particles from between your teeth. This is crucial to minimize your risk of gum disease and multiple cavities.
While the American Dental Association says that flossing once a day is sufficient, feel free to floss after each meal or if you feel something stuck in your teeth.
- Clean Your Tongue
Because our tongues are so rough, bacteria can thrive in their grooves. Running your toothbrush over it in a circular motion will help remove a large percentage of damaging, odor-causing bacteria.
- Use a Water Flosser
Using a water flosser isn’t necessary, but it can further remove bacteria and plaque from between your teeth and below your gum line. Water flossers help to improve gum health and decrease bad breath.
Water flossers are not a substitute for brushing or flossing but can be a great addition to your oral hygiene routine.
- Use Mouthwash
Many types of mouthwash are the same, but there are a few that provide specialized benefits. For example, some mouthwashes protect teeth from cavities, whiten teeth, or even help to reduce sensitivity.
Mouthwashes that offer protection use fluoride to create a protective barrier on your teeth. This type of mouthwash is especially beneficial to those who don’t use toothpaste with fluoride or those who rinse after they are finished brushing.
We don’t recommend rinsing when you finish brushing your teeth, but if you must, finish your home dental care routine with fluoridated mouthwash. Don’t rinse your mouth after you use mouthwash, though.
Most whitening mouthwashes are better for your tooth enamel than whitening toothpaste or strips. This is because whitening toothpaste tends to be abrasive and slowly wears down your enamel. Just make sure to use whitening mouthwash, and all others, as directed.
Sensitivity mouthwashes use special chemicals that temporarily numb nerves close to the surface of your teeth. They aren’t a long-term fix for tooth sensitivity, but they can help make eating and drinking more comfortable.
- Drink Plenty of Water
Drinking plenty of water will keep your mouth healthy in more than one way. First, it keeps you hydrated and prevents your mouth from becoming too dry. A dry mouth can lead to an increase in bacteria growth and periodontal disease.
Next, drinking water helps to cleanse food particles and bacteria from your mouth. Both of these work to neutralize the pH of your mouth and limit bacterial growth.
- Minimize Acidic and Sugary Foods and Drinks
When you eat and drink acidic or sugary foods, you’re giving bacteria a tasty meal. Both promote bacterial growth and bad breath. Additionally, acidic foods and drinks eat away your enamel. This can lead to sensitive teeth and an increased chance of them becoming damaged.
- See Your Dentist if You Notice Abnormalities
If you notice any abnormalities, seek professional care as soon as possible because the problem will only get worse. This includes:
Chipped or cracked teeth
Pain when eating or drinking
Gum bleeding when flossing or brushing your teeth
Pain or soreness during or after brushing your teeth
Gum discoloration or sensitivity
Home Dental Care FAQs
We get tons of questions from our patients asking how to take care of their oral hygiene at home. Here are some frequently asked questions with answers from our Fremont, CA dentist.
Do I Need to Floss in the Morning?
As long as you floss the night before, you do not need to floss in the morning. If you want, you can floss after breakfast.
Why Do I Have Bad Breath?
Bad breath is usually a sign of bacteria or an infection. Make sure you are following the nine home dental care tips we talked about above.
Should I Brush My Teeth After Every Meal?
You should not brush your teeth after every meal. Brushing your teeth more than twice per day will increase the wear on your enamel and can result in sensitivity. Instead, floss or rinse your mouth with water or a mild mouthwash after you eat.
Do You Need a Dentist in Fremont, CA?
If you are looking for a dentist in Fremont, CA, look no further. At Chew Dental Group, we can handle everything from standard checkups to pocket reduction surgery. Call us today or schedule an appointment online.