Regular visits to your dentist are important in maintaining dental health and in detecting oral diseases early. When dental visits are not in the cards at the appropriate time, there are things you can do at home to keep the dental care going. We’ve outlined some important home routines to help you keep the momentum going in-between visits to your dental professional. After all, you want to maintain good habits in dental care at all times.
Brush Your Teeth Daily
It’s no secret. The best dental home care includes regular brushing. But it must be done properly for you to reap the benefits. Recommended best practices for brushing include the following:
- Hold your toothbrush at a 45 degree angle along your gum line and brush gently in a back and forth motion.
- Brush every tooth surface, including the chewing and inside surfaces. Use the tip to the toothbrush to reach behind each tooth.
- Don’t forget to brush your tongue as it holds odor causing bacteria.
- Take the time to brush your teeth for at least 2 to 3 minutes.
Don’t Forget to Floss
Flossing goes hand in hand with brushing when it comes to the best possible home dental care. Flossing removes food particles that brushing misses and helps to prevent bacteria buildup that can lead to oral diseases. It is important to floss properly for maximum results:
- Use a long enough piece of dental floss to get the job done – usually 18 to 24 inches of floss is recommended.
- Wrap the ends of the floss around your index and middle fingers for a stable grip.
- Cradle the floss around each tooth and move it back and forth and up and down against the side of each tooth
Use Mouth Rinses
The daily use of a fluoride mouth rinse is a useful home dental care routine as well. Fluoride is a mineral that helps protect tooth enamel, thus preventing tooth decay. Mouth rinses also can help remove bacteria and prevent plaque buildup. There are a variety of formulas from which to choose. For improved dental care, consider rinses that are specifically aimed at preventing gum diseases like gingivitis. However, for the best possible results, use a mouth wash along with a regular brushing and flossing.
Avoid the Consequences of Poor Dental Practices
So what happens when you don’t follow the best practice routines for maintaining healthy teeth and gums? There are several adverse consequences of poor dental hygiene, including the following:
- Periodontal Disease. Without proper brushing and flossing, you can succumb to gum disease that can causes tooth loss. Without regular cleaning, bacteria can build up causing the formation of plaque and tartar on your teeth. Left untreated, irreparable harm may result.
- Breakdown of existing dental fillings. Gum disease can lead other problems, including the breakdown of filling you already have. This leads to the collection of bacteria that can cause damage to roots and nerves, and may require extensive treatment such as root canals or total loss of the tooth.
- Oral Cancer. This is especially important to note that if you are a smoker, lack of dental care at home can lead to oral cancer. That’s because, when unchecked, buildup of harmful bacterial can after the mouth and other organs, such as lungs, liver, esophagus and stomach. It is important for smokers to brush and floss daily at home to prevent development of mouth cancers.
Home dental care is important to regular dental hygiene and the prevention of oral diseases that can also impact your overall health. Regular brushing and flossing are home dental care staples. Throw in the use of a mouth rinse, and your dentist will likely give you two thumbs up on your next visit.