Your First Line of Defense
At Corner Stone Dental, we’ve got your back when it comes to oral hygiene. During your regular checkups, we’ll make sure your teeth are clean and healthy — but we need your help. Proper at-home care is essential for maintaining your beautiful smile.
Knowing which tools to choose and how to properly use them enhances your oral hygiene routine. This will make your dental appointments go a lot more smoothly by dramatically reducing your chances of getting cavities or gum disease. That’s why we’ve put together this handy guide for you to consult.
The Elements of Effective Smile Care
At-home dental care consists of three steps: brushing, flossing, and rinsing with therapeutic mouthwash.
How to Properly Brush and Floss
Brushing Your Teeth: We recommend brushing your teeth twice a day. It’s especially important to do it before going to bed at night. To begin brushing, place the brush at a 45-degree angle to the gums and move it in small circular motions.
Make sure you can always feel the bristles on your gums, but try not to scrub — it only takes light pressure. Spend at least two minutes cleaning every surface you can reach with your toothbrush.
Flossing: Your toothbrush can’t reach in between your teeth very well, so dental floss is essential for removing any debris or plaque that gets stuck there. Take 12 to 16 inches of dental floss and wrap it around your middle fingers, leaving about two inches of floss between your hands.
Using your thumbs and forefingers to guide the floss, insert it between your teeth and curve it into a C-shape around each tooth. Gently move the floss up and down to clean each side of the tooth, making sure to reach under the gumline as well.
Rinsing With Mouthwash: Use antibacterial mouthwash after brushing and following meals to help prevent cavities and gum disease. Look for a mouthwash with the ADA Seal of Acceptance and simply follow the instructions on the bottle. If you want, our Swansea dentists will be happy to recommend a suitable mouthwash for you and your family.
Tools for Oral Hygiene Success
The tools you use can make all the difference in the health and appearance of your smile. Find the ones that are right for you.
- Your Toothbrush: An ADA-approved soft-bristled brush is your best option. You can also opt to use an electric toothbrush, as they’re often more effective than manual brushes, especially for patients who have difficulty applying adequate pressure. Make sure to replace your toothbrush or brush head regularly.
- Dental Floss: Floss is usually made from either thin nylon filaments or polyethylene ribbons. Many patients prefer nylon or nylon-coated floss because it slides gently between your teeth.
- Interdental Brushes: These small brushes are an effective alternative to flossing. They fit in between your teeth and they’re easy on the gums. Be sure to select a brand with gentle plastic-coated wires.
- Mouth Rinses: There are two basic types of mouth rinses — over-the-counter cosmetic rinses and therapeutic rinses, which may require a prescription. We recommend therapeutic rinses to help reduce plaque, bad breath, and cavities.
- Oral Irrigators: Oral irrigators, like Water Jets and Waterpiks, remove debris from below the gum line using tiny jets of water. They effectively lower your risk of getting gum disease. Oral irrigators should be used in addition to brushing and flossing, however, and not as a replacement for them.
- Rubber Tip Stimulators: This tool removes plaque from around the gum line, stimulating blood flow to the gums. For best results, gently trace the rubber tip stimulator along the outer and inner gum line at least once each day.
- Tongue Cleaners: Tongue cleaners remove the buildup of bacteria, fungi, and food debris from your tongue’s surface. This helps protect you from halitosis, or bad breath. It also reduces your risk of developing heart disease, diabetes, or respiratory disease.
Frequently Asked Questions
Home dental care is your first line of defense against oral disease. For this reason, it’s vital to brush and floss properly. We recommend brushing your teeth twice a day with an ADA-approved soft-bristled toothbrush and fluoride toothpaste. You’ll also want to floss at least once a day, and it’s beneficial to rinse daily with fluoridated mouthwash for further protection.
Bad breath, also known as halitosis, can really impact your daily life. There are various reasons why bad breath can occur, but the best way to prevent it is to practice regular oral hygiene and see your dentist regularly.
If your bad breath persists, ask your dentist about it. At Corner Stone Dental, we have strategies to pinpoint the cause of your bad breath. Then we’ll find the right treatment for it.
Brushing your teeth is important because it removes plaque from the surfaces of your teeth, but brushes can’t reach between your teeth. That’s why flossing is an essential part of your daily oral health regimen. It helps prevent tooth decay and gum disease by removing plaque, tartar, and food particles from between your teeth.