Christopher and Anne Thompson, DDS: Your Home Dental Care Routine
You're only going to have one set of natural teeth, which means you need to take care of them. As a result the oral health routine you practice at home may be just as important to your health as exercising and eating a balanced diet. At our Turlock dental practice, our goal is to offer tooth-conserving dentistry to help our patients keep healthy, beautiful smiles for their entire life.
Your oral healthcare at home begins with eating right, which means foods low in sugar to keep bacteria and plaque at bay.
Tooth Brushing Best Practices
Brushing and flossing is the frontline method of keeping your teeth and gums health. You should schedule professional cleanings at least twice a year to remove hardened plaque, tarter, and to polish your teeth. Between cleanings, the American Dental Association recommends brushing your teeth at least twice a day. Most opt to brush once in the morning, and brushing your teeth before bed can prevent plaque buildup while you sleep.
- Brush your teeth at 45 degree angle to the gums and use small, circular motions. Make sure the bristles clean the supporting gum tissues.
- Brush the inner, outer, and biting surfaces of the teeth.
- Make sure to clean the inside of your front teeth.
- Brushing your tongue can also help remove bacteria and freshen your breath.
You can choose an electric toothbrush for the sake of convenience, but people-powered toothbrushes work just fine.
Flossing Best Practices
Floss at least one time each day. Clean between your teeth and under your gumline. Flossing helps prevent plaque from damaging the gums by disrupting colonies of bacteria.
- Use about a foot (12 inches) of dental floss. Wrap the ends around your fingers on opposite hands, and leave about a 2-3 inches of floss between your fingers.
- Guide the floss between the teeth and use a sawing motion to clean this space.
- Hook the floss gently around each tooth and under the gumline. Gently move the floss up and down to clean the sides of the teeth.
If you have trouble using floss, ask your dentist about floss holders.
Rinsing Best Practices
After you brush and floss, rinse your mouth out with warm or cold water. Also if you are not able to brush or floss between meals, consider rinsing your mouth with water to remove food particles and to reduce bacteria growth and acid. If you're interested in rinsing your mouth with mouthwash or other oral hygiene products, ask your dentist what they might recommend.
Questions? Need to Schedule a Cleaning?
Please contact us if you have questions about your home care routine, or if you would like to request your next appointment for a cleaning.