Practicing Good Oral Hygiene at Home
Regular visits to the dentist are highly recommended, but the most important factor in keeping good oral health is by practicing good oral hygiene at home. The well-practiced Buffalo dentists at Teach Dental Group recommend the following.
Practicing Good Oral Hygiene at Home | Brushing Teeth
The best way to practice good oral hygiene at home is by brushing the teeth. 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. Our office also advises our patients to floss at least once a day, and 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.
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 tissues 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.
Practicing Good Oral Hygiene at Home | Understanding Fluoride
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.
Practicing Good Oral Hygiene at Home | Floss and Mouthwash
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.
Mouthwash is an important tool in 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.
If you want any more information on practicing good oral hygiene at home, or simply need to schedule an appointment, please contact our office today. We offer free consultations.