As we are currently all asked to stay at home through May 15th to try to slow down the COVID-19 virus, now is the best time to perfect our at-home dental care skills. We have some extra time on our hands so why not dedicate some of it to taking better care of our teeth? Many people may think they know the proper way to take care of their oral hygiene, but often they too are surprised when their dentist finds a cavity. So to make sure we all in the know, we have put together a guide of exactly what can be done to ensure excellent oral health at home.
You should brush your teeth at least twice a day but the most important thing is that you are brushing your teeth correctly. You should brush your teeth for about 2-3 minutes each time, during which you should pay particular attention to thoroughly cleaning every tooth. To properly brush your teeth, you should hold your toothbrush at a 45-degree angle, brush gently and in circular movements.
The best times to brush your teeth are before going to bed (approximately 30 – 60 minutes after having had dinner) and then either in the morning or after lunch. And there is no law saying you can’t brush your teeth even three or more times during the day.
You can also use your toothbrush to clean your tongue which is the main source of bacteria and bad breath.
Using dental floss to clean between your teeth is extremely important as it is the most efficient way to remove food particles. If you do not manage to remove these food particles, this may lead to gum disease and tooth decay.
According to the American Dental Association, only four out of 10 Americans floss at least once a day and 20 percent do not floss at all. It is time to get flossing! The ADA recommends flossing at least once a day, at whatever time of day you prefer.
Mouthwash is extremely helpful as it reduces bad breath, protects teeth from decay, and protects gums from gingivitis. Mouthwash does this by removing microbes through antimicrobial agents and by fortifying your teeth thanks to the fluoride it contains.
However, many experts suggest not rinsing your mouth or using mouthwash straight after brushing your teeth as it will eliminate the fluoride residue remaining on your teeth from your toothpaste. Instead, you can either wait a bit after brushing your teeth or use it to freshen up at other times of the day when brushing is not possible.
Fluoride toothpaste is the best option to use as it helps fight tooth decay. A pea-sized amount placed on your toothbrush is enough for anyone over three years of age.
Oral irrigators can now be found in most stores and are a handy tool to have at home. Just like the one you see at the dentist; this hand-held device generates a steady and powerful stream of water that removes food particles from between your teeth. An oral irrigator can particularly be useful if you have partial dentures or braces.
We hope this information may help you perfect your oral hygiene regimen. If you have any questions about what you can do at home do not hesitate to contact us. Dr. Cooperman is always available and hopes to see you all again soon, ready to show off your excellent oral health!