at home oral care

Scotts Valley Family Dentists Explain At-Home Oral Care

at home oral careSanta Cruz, Scotts Valley CA

Adults and children should visit Scotts Valley Family dentists Drs. Max and Ariana Ebrahimian at least once every six months. This visit includes a dental cleaning to remove tartar buildup, as well as a thorough dental exam to identify any changes in your oral health. These twice-yearly trips to the dentist are an integral part of maintaining a high level of oral hygiene.

Along with those routine dental visits, you should practice good oral hygiene habits at home. Not doing your part by maintaining your oral health between visits could put you at risk for cavities, gum disease, and a host of oral health-related problems, such as an increased risk of heart disease, stroke, and diabetes. The dentists at our Los Gatos dental office what to explain at-home oral care to explain helpful tips for taking care of your teeth and gums.

Family Dentists Explain Proper Brushing Techniques

Many patients do not brush their teeth properly. While we appreciate the effort, you aren’t doing your oral health any good by brushing your teeth incorrectly.

To start, be sure that you a soft-bristled toothbrush. Medium or hard-bristled brushes usually are too abrasive for most people. Also, choose a fluoridated toothpaste for added protection against enamel erosion and cavities.

When it comes to applying toothpaste onto your toothbrush, more isn’t always better, just a pea-sized amount will do the job.

Begin brushing by making small circular movements along every surface of your teeth.

Hold your toothbrush at a 45-degree angle when brushing along the gum line.

Be sure to brush the occlusal surface (that’s the surface used for chewing) and the inside (the sides of your teeth that touch your tongue).

Remember also to brush the backsides of your front teeth (where the tip of your tongue rests). Brushing the backsides of your teeth is the only area where you will use a back and forth motion. Otherwise, save the scrubbing motion for cleaning your bathroom tile.

It should take two minutes to brush your teeth well enough to provide ultimate protection. You’d be surprised how long two minutes lasts. Use a timer on your phone (everyone has one within reach these days!) or hum your favorite song while you brush. The time passes quicker than you realize.

How To Floss Correctly

The most effective way to floss is to wrap the stringed floss around your index fingers, just enough so that it stays put and doesn’t slip. Place the floss gently between your teeth, and form a “C” shape. Move the floss up and down along the sides of each tooth, paying extra attention that you scoop along your gum line as well. Continue these motions until you have flossed between all of your teeth.

If you have bridgework, a permanent orthodontic retainer, or a dental implant, these areas specifically need to be flossed to keep bacteria from causing gum infection.

Flossing should only take a minute or two, and you will become more comfortable with it the more you do it. Afterward, throw your floss away and do not reuse it. Doing so could spread bacteria that cause gum disease.

Tips for Cleaning Your Tongue

It’s easy to forget about cleaning your tongue. But, the tongue harbors lots of bacteria and food particles responsible for bad breath. You should clean your tongue as often as you brush your teeth. Your toothbrush should work just fine at cleaning your tongue, or you can purchase a tongue brush or scraper if you prefer.

Mouthwash is an extra tool that helps prevent cavities, gum disease, and fights bad breath. You could amp up your at-home oral hygiene routine by adding an alcohol-free mouth rinse to your daily oral care routine. Just be sure to look for the American Dental Association’s seal of approval.

Family Dentist – Scotts Valley, Los Gatos, and Santa Cruz

Maintaining good oral health takes your best at-home efforts, as well as regular checkups and cleanings at the dentist. If you would like to learn more ways to protect your oral health or to schedule a consultation, please contact Ebrahimian Integrative Dentistry by calling (831) 438-4411.