.

The Perfect Smile Starts at Home

Dental Home Care Guide

A beautiful, healthy smile that lasts a lifetime is our ultimate goal when treating patients.  Your personal home care plays an important role in achieving that goal.  It starts at home by eating balanced meals, reducing the number of snacks you eat, and correctly using the various dental aids that help control the plaque and bacteria that cause tooth decay.

Tooth decay can ruin a healthy smile. Constant care must be taken to ensure the health of your mouth through daily brushing and flossing. On top of these, regular visits to your dentist for a checkup and cleaning will help ensure that your teeth remain healthy and strong. Your regular treatment includes a full cleaning and checkup, with fluoride treatment; and Dr. Medina will inform you of any further treatment that may be needed in the future.

Removing plaque buildup and controlling tartar are important to maintaining a healthy mouth, and while brushing, flossing, and upkeep at home go a long way, nobody is perfect, and tooth decay, gingivitis, and plaque are common even with people who brush diligently every day. However, doing the following at home can help keep your smile looking bright in between dental visits:

Tooth brushing

– Brush your teeth at least twice a day (especially before going to bed at night) with an ADA approved soft bristle brush and toothpaste.

  1. Place the brush at a 45 degree angle to the gums and gently brush using a small, circular motion, ensuring that you always feel the bristles on the gums.
  2. Brush the outer, inner, and biting surfaces of each tooth.
  3. Use the tip of the brush to clean the inside of the front teeth.
  4. Brush your tongue to remove bacteria and freshen your breath.

Electric toothbrushes are also recommended.  They are easy to use and can remove plaque efficiently.  Simply place the bristles of the electric brush on your gums and teeth and allow the brush to do its job, several teeth at a time.

Picture of Oral Home Care Tools

Flossing – Daily flossing is the best way to clean between the teeth and under the gumline.  Flossing not only helps clean these spaces, it disrupts plaque colonies from building up, preventing damage to the gums, teeth, and bone.

  1. Take 12-16 inches (30-40cm) of dental floss and wrap it around your middle fingers, leaving about 2 inches (5cm) of floss between the hands.
  2. Using your thumbs and forefingers to guide the floss, gently insert the floss between teeth using a sawing motion.
  3. Curve the floss into a “C” shape around each tooth and under the gumline. Gently move the floss up and down, cleaning the side of each tooth.

Floss holders are recommended if you have difficulty using conventional floss.

Picture of woman flossing for oral home care

Rinsing – It is important to rinse your mouth with water after brushing, and also after meals if you are unable to brush.  If you are using an over-the-counter product for rinsing, it’s a good idea to consult with your dentist or dental hygienist on its appropriateness for you.

Use other dental aids as recommended by your dentist or dental hygienist: Interdental brushes, rubber tip stimulators, tongue cleaners, irrigation devices, fluoride, medicated rinses, etc., can all play a role in good dental home care.

Picture of woman holding mouthwash completing oral home care