A beautiful, healthy smile that lasts a lifetime is our Boston dentists‘ ultimate goal when treating patients. Your personal home care plays an important role in achieving that goal. Good dental hygiene and disease prevention start with eating balanced meals, reducing your consumption of sugary snacks and correctly using the various dental aids that help control the plaque and bacteria that cause dental disease.
Brush your teeth at least twice a day (especially before going to bed at night) with an American Dental Association approved soft bristle brush and toothpaste.
Best Practice Brushing Techniques
- Place the brush at a 45-degree angle to the gums and gently brush using a small, circular motion, ensuring that you always feel the bristles on the gums.
- Brush the outer, inner, and biting surfaces of each tooth.
- Use the tip of the brush to clean the inside of the front teeth.
- Brush your tongue to remove bacteria and freshen your breath.
Electric toothbrushes are also effective and can be a great alternative to a non-electric soft bristle brush. They are easy to use and can remove plaque efficiently. Simply place the bristles of the electric brush on your gums and teeth and allow the brush to do its job, several teeth at a time.
Daily flossing is the best way to clean between the teeth and under the gumline. Flossing not only helps clean these spaces, it disrupts plaque colonies from building up, preventing damage to the gums, teeth, and bones.
Best Practice Flossing Techniques
- Take 12 to 16 inches of dental floss and wrap it around your middle fingers, leaving about 2 inches of floss between the hands.
- Using your thumbs and forefingers to guide the floss, gently insert the floss between teeth using a sawing motion.
- Curve the floss into a “C” shape around each tooth and under the gumline. Gently move the floss up and down, cleaning the side of each tooth.
Floss holders are recommended if you have difficulty using conventional floss.
It is important to rinse your mouth with water after brushing, and also after meals if you are unable to brush. If you are using an over-the-counter product for rinsing, it’s a good idea to consult with your dentist or dental hygienist first to make sure the product is an appropriate fit for your dental needs.
In addition to good brushing, flossing, and rinsing habits, there are a number of other dental aids that can play a role in effective dental care at home. Your dentist or dental hygienist may recommend tools such as interdental brushes, rubber tip stimulators, tongue cleaners, irrigation devices, fluoride, and medicated