Cleanings & Prevention
Home Care

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.  Your personal home care starts 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 dental disease.

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 Fluoridated toothpaste.  For little kids who are just starting to brush, use only a VERY small amount of toothpaste (like 1/2 a small pea)- little kids have a difficult time spitting and usually swallow first.  Toothpaste should not be swallowed.

  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.  RINSE your tooth brush afterwards.
  2. Brush the outer, inner, and biting surfaces of each tooth.  Most people miss the inner side of the lower back teeth and outer side of the upper back teeth.
  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.

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.  We highly recommend WOVEN floss which looks more like yarn when it unravels.  Woven floss traps plaque very well and is soft on tissues.  It will snag on faulty dental work.  Teflon floss (GLIDE) is effective if your teeth have very tight contact points as it will probably get through them.  Unfortunately, because its teflon, not much sticks to it but it is much better than not using any floss.

  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.

Individual floss holders are highly recommended if you have difficulty using conventional floss.

Rinsing – Although it is important to rinse your mouth with water after brushing, do so sparingly especially at night.  Research shows that by leaving some toothpaste residue on the teeth is as effective as using a fluoride rinse.  Our recommendation is for adult patients is to brush, swish and spit out nearly all of the foamy toothpaste residue at bed time.  Swishing/rinsing with water alone is still helpful after eating when brushing is not an option.  If you are using an over-the-counter product for rinsing, it’s a good idea to consult with us 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., as they have specific uses and need to be used appropriately.



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