Healthy Smile Homecare Tips

Brushing Instructions – Use a toothbrush with soft bristles and a small strip of fluoride toothpaste. When you brush your teeth, move the brush in small circular motions to reach food particles that may be under your gum line. Hold the toothbrush at an angle and brush slowly and carefully, covering all areas between teeth and the surface of each tooth. It will take you several minutes to thoroughly brush your teeth. Brush in small circular motions ensuring to get the front, back, sides and chewing surfaces of each tooth. Don’t forget to brush your tongue and roof of your mouth to remove any excess bacteria that may attack your teeth.

Remember to replace your toothbrush regularly. When your bristles start to wear down they no longer clean as needed. We recommended replacement at least every 3 months.

We recommend you brush 4 times a day to increase your overall dental health, once after each meal and before you go to bed at night. On top of brushing, it is important to floss at least once a day to prevent periodontal disease.

Flossing Instructions – Dental floss is important to remove plaque and bacteria from between the teeth where your toothbrush can’t reach. It also cleans below your gum line helping keep your gingiva and supporting bone healthy. We recommend you floss every day before you go to bed.

Pull a decent length of floss from the dispenser. Wrap the floss around your middle fingers for stability. Using your thumb and index finger guide the floss between a tooth and form a “C” around the side. Slide the floss below the gum line and clean up and down. Remove floss from tooth, move your fingers to a clean section of floss and move onto the next tooth. Remember to floss behind your very back teeth.

Denture Care & Cleaning –According to the American Dental Association, dentures should be cared for as well as natural teeth. There are special brushes for dentures and they should be used each day to remove food, bacteria, and stains. There are many ADA-approved products to brush, soak and clean your dentures.

Be careful not to use household cleaners and some types of toothpaste on your dentures as they may be too abrasive and cause damage to your dentures.

Helpful Products

Floss Threaders – For any patient with bridge work these are a must for proper maintenance on their investment. Floss threaders enable you to feed floss under a bridge to clean the root surfaces of the teeth that are holding the bridge in place. They also help to keep food from being trapped under a bridge that will cause gingival irritation or problems.

Electric Toothbrushes can be beneficial for all age groups. In general, an electric toothbrush can be highly effective in decreasing the amount of build-up and stains that form between professional cleanings. It also promotes proper technique for increased effectiveness on both the teeth and gingival tissues. For anyone with limited dexterity, it makes brushing easier and more effective than manual tooth brushing alone. For children it adds a “fun” factor to brushing that can help encourage good brushing habits as well as a timer to ensure enough time is spent brushing. (Available on most models) As with all products there are some that are more effective than others. We recommend any of the Braun Oral-B electric brushes.

White Strips – Whitening teeth has become a more frequent request over the past few years. Many patients are interested in brightening their smile. Although there are in office treatments that can be done, we often recommend that our patients try the professional white strips available at dental offices only first. Professional white strips contain 15% peroxide while over-the-counter products have between 5-8%. Many times this can be a very cost-effective way for patients to get the results they are looking for.

Antimicrobial rinses – We do recommend that an antiseptic rinse be used. (example: Listerine/Crest Pro-health) These rinses dramatically decrease the bacteria content in your mouth that contributes to periodontal disease. Periodontal disease is a major cause of tooth loss in adults. The bacteria in your mouth has also been shown in studies to be linked to heart disease.

Fluoride Rinses – In some cases when children tend to be more susceptible to decay, we feel a fluoride rinse may be beneficial for the overall health of the teeth. An ADA-approved fluoride rinse can help to strengthen the teeth as well as help re-mineralize areas of the enamel that are just starting to break down.