Home Dental Care
Home care, or how we take care of our teeth at home, is an important part of oral health maintenance. Dental exams and cleanings are one factor but without consistent proper home care, the teeth and gums are vulnerable to permanent damage from gum disease and other dental issues. We educate patients how to brush and floss and on the importance of caring for their teeth daily.
Proper diet also plays a critical role in dental home care. Snacking or drinking beverages that are high in sugars and starches cause more plaque which in turn causes gum disease and decay.
Frequently Asked Questions About Home Dental Care
What is the proper way to brush the teeth?
Plaque is easily removed with a soft toothbrush. Patients should spend at least two minutes brushing their teeth, at least two times a day. When brushing the teeth, begin by pointing the bristles toward the gumline 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 next to the cheek. Patients should 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.
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 are missed, leaving plaque and bacteria behind to cause damage. The teeth should be flossed at least once a 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 against each side of the tooth. Use a fresh part of floss for each space between the teeth.