Basic Dental Hygiene During The Coronavirus
As we all practice social distancing, we want to remind patients not to neglect their oral hygiene in the process. The best way to practice good dental hygiene at home is by brushing your teeth and regularly flossing. Proper brushing involves the use of a soft toothbrush and brushing as instructed by your dentist or dental hygienist. We recommend brushing at least twice a day, and especially after eating, to remove the food debris that causes the issues with our teeth. At Teach Dental Group, we advise our patients to floss at least once a day, but preferably twice as flossing at night is especially beneficial. At night, the mouth tends to dry out and bacteria are therefore much more detrimental to the oral tissues, so flossing before bed is particularly important.
Adding Fluoride To Your Dental Hygiene Regimen
Fluoride is a naturally occurring compound in most water systems. In the mouth, fluoride replaces the calcium ions in the enamel, making the enamel more resistant to breakdown by the acids produced by bacteria and the simple sugars that we consume in our diets. You can think of fluoride as a protective layer that protects your teeth from enamel damaging acids and bacteria.
Choosing The Right Toothpaste
Teach Dental Group recommends that our patients use a regular toothpaste with fluoride. Many toothpastes contain additives that can be detrimental to oral health. A few brands of toothpaste cause tissue sloughing, in which the outer layer of the oral tissue sheds, creating a “cotton mouth” feeling. Sloughing also makes individuals more susceptible to certain diseases. A plain, fluoridated toothpaste, as recommended by the ADA, is ideal for cleansing the teeth without causing any harmful side effects. Making sure you choose the right toothpaste is an important aspect of any good dental hygiene regimen.
A toothbrush will clean only three surfaces of the teeth: the top or bottom edge, the front, and the back. The proximal surfaces (the side edges of the teeth) are unable to be fully accessed by even the most advanced toothbrushes, and they are thus susceptible to decay. Dental floss is capable of fitting between the teeth and cleaning out the food debris that has accumulated in these gaps, reducing the chance of developing gum disease. We recommend our patients floss at least once, but preferably twice per day to help eliminate plaque or food that may have built up in these crevices.
Mouthwash is an important tool in practicing good dental hygiene and fighting gum disease, but using alcohol-based mouthwashes too frequently can become problematic. Excessive intake of alcohol is one of the predisposing factors to oral cancer, so it is important to monitor your alcohol consumption and to use mouthwash only as directed. Our office recommends the use of alcohol-free mouthwash, which is just as effective in freshening the breath as brands that contain alcohol are. Alcohol free mouthwash is much easier on the teeth, the gums, and your mouth. Listerine has several alcohol-free options that we recommend to patients.
Keep Practicing Good Dental Hygiene & We Look Forward To Seeing You Soon!
Practicing good dental hygiene is always important, but especially during the pandemic when most dental offices are unable to see patients for routine check-ups and cleanings. We hope everyone is staying safe and healthy and we look forward to welcoming you all back to our practice soon. If you are experiencing a dental emergency that requires urgent treatment, please contact our office today to arrange an appointment.
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