At Home Dental Health Maintenance

At Rolling Oaks Dental we like to work with our patients to achieve good dental health for life. In addition to routine exams and cleaning as well as the handling of any dental issues that arise, you can accomplish a lot by your at-home routines. In fact, the more you do yourself, the less you will likely need to be done at the dentist office.

Here are some helpful tips on simple ways you can improve your own dental health and maintain a beautiful smile:

Flossing Your Teeth

A wise dentist tells his patients, “you only need to floss the teeth that you want to keep”.  The truth is that by flossing regularly, you are far less likely to develop gum disease or cavities. Here are some ways to make flossing easy and more convenient that we hope will help encourage you to floss more often. For a few dollars, you can get a pack of dental floss picks. They are small toothpicks with a section of floss. There are numerous brands and some different shapes.

It’s easy to put some in small bowls or cups and place them at your desk where you work or use your computer, on end tables where you watch TV, in the bathroom near your toothbrush, nightstands, etc. The idea is to have them everywhere, making it easy to floss while you are watching TV or reading your emails or before you go to bed when you brush your teeth. After eating is a good time to floss. Several times flossing a day is best.

Brushing

The American Medical Association recommends that you brush your teeth at least two times per day. You should brush your teeth for at least 2 minutes each time. A soft bristled brush is best.  Use an up-and-down motion to allow the bristles to get between the teeth as much as possible. And you should replace your brush every few months as they can build up bacteria.

Brushing at night before bed is very important. It is also particularly important to brush after you eat a meal or snack particularly one that contains sugar or even a very sugary drink. The bacteria or plaque on the enamel metabolizes sugars which produce acids that can lead to gum disease, inflammation, and cavities. If you can’t brush at that time, minimally rinse your mouth with water as soon after as possible. Another thing you can do if you are not able to brush after eating is to chew gum that is sweetened with xylitol.

Mouthwashing

There are different types of mouthrinses for different purposes. There are plenty that are really for the purposes of reducing bad breath, not particularly for dental health. Therapeutic mouthrinses, on the other hand, can help reduce plaque, gingivitis, cavities and bad breath. They are definitely not a replacement for brushing or flossing, but can be an added benefit to dental health. An appropriate mouthrinse can slow, arrest or even reverse gum disease. You will need to read the labels or ask your Rolling Oaks Dentist to recommend one. Make sure it has the ADA seal.