Home Dental Care
Home care, or how we take care of our teeth at home, is an important part of oral health. Dental exams and cleanings are an important part of oral health but without proper home care, the teeth and gums and vulnerable to permanent damage from gum disease and other dental issues. Consistent, healthy oral health care habits help fight against the bacteria that may damage the teeth and gums. At Gallagher Cosmetic and Family Dentistry we teach patients how to brush and floss properly and educate them on the importance of caring for their teeth daily. Plaque is a film that sticks to the teeth, causing cavities and gum disease. The best defense against plaque build-up is proper brushing and flossing, which remove this deposit or film from the teeth. Many patient’s, though, are unclear how to properly brush and floss their teeth.
Proper diet also plays a critical role in home care for the teeth and gums. Snacking on foods that are high in sugars and starches multiply the natural bacteria in the mouth. This bacteria works with saliva and food particles to form plaque. Left untreated, plaque causes gum disease and decay.
Frequently Asked Questions About Home Dental Care
What is the proper way to brush the teeth?
Plaque is easy to remove, so a soft toothbrush is the best choice. Patients should spend at least two minutes brushing their teeth, and the teeth should be brushed at least two times a day. When brushing the teeth, begin by pointing the bristles toward the gum line and use a small circular motion. Continue this motion to brush all surfaces including the biting surface, the inside surface toward the tongue, and the outside of the teeth near the cheek. Patients can also brush the tongue or use a special tongue scraper or cleaner.
Are there any specialized tools that can help patients with their home care?
There are a variety of specialized tools that we have available at our practice. We will be able to teach you how to use them correctly and effectively. Some special items that we offer here are interdental or proxy brushes, floss holders, electric toothbrushes, and end tuft brushes to name a few.
What is the proper way to floss the teeth?
Flossing is the best way to remove plaque from between the teeth, where the toothbrush does not reach. Without flossing, 40 percent of our tooth surfaces throughout the mouth are missed, leaving plaque and bacteria behind to cause damage. The teeth should be flossed at least once each day. Use 15-20 inches of floss and wrap the floss around the middle fingers of each hand. Leave a length of one to two inches of floss between the hands. Using the thumb and index finger to hold the floss, wrap the floss around each tooth in a “C” shape, and slide the floss up and down the tooth. Use a fresh part of floss for each space between the teeth.