Dental offices may are now closed for routine care, so good home care is more important than ever. The most important thing you can do at home is proper brushing twice a day and flossing every day.
Make sure to use a brush with straight bristles and throw away the head when it starts to fray. The Sonicare toothbrush and Oral B Toothbrush have been shown to brush more effectively without as much wear on the enamel. When brushing make sure to angle the brush 45 degrees, so it’s cleaning the bacteria trapped under the gum. People often brush only the cheek side of their teeth and neglect the surface near your tongue.
Limit Bacteria with Rinsing and sugar free gum
Rinsing with water after eating can help remove large pieces of food. After eating or drinking acidic foods, the enamel is in a softened state and brushing too often can cause unnecessary wear. It can be better to just rinse after meals and brush and floss in the evening. Sugar free gum can accomplish the same goal after a meal.
When flossing, it is important to be mindful of tooth anatomy. When the floss goes through, it has to floss two teeth around the triangle shaped gum. You need to pull against the front tooth, come up and around the triangular shaped gum and push against the back tooth . Think of it like windshield wipers swiping away the sticky bacterial plaque from the surface of the tooth.
Clean Your Tongue
Remove the bacteria and food particles that reside on your tongue by brushing it gently with your (soft) toothbrush or a tongue scraper.
Disinfect Your Toothbrush
To keep your toothbrush free of germs and bacteria, try a 30-second dip in an antibacterial mouthwash, or dissolve 2 teaspoons of baking soda in 1 cup of water and soak the toothbrush for several minutes. You can also soak your toothbrush in white vinegar overnight, once a week.
Dentists recommend a dental cleaning every 6 months. If you can’t get to your dentist for scheduled cleaning be extra careful to stick to your hygiene routines in the interim. Stay safe and always reach out to your dentist if you have any questions or concerns.