At-Home Dental Care Tips
By J. Brent Gorrell on January 15, 2018
Good dental care is essential for preventing tooth decay, gum disease, and protecting overall oral health. At Gorrell Smiles, Drs. J. Brent Gorrell and Xue Summer provide a full range of dental hygiene treatments to keep their patients' smiles healthy and beautiful for years to come. While professional dental care is essential to maintaining good oral health, it is only part of the solution. Good oral hygiene habits begin at home and require a daily commitment. These oral hygiene tips for at-home care from our Mountain View, CA team can help you protect your smile.
Tips for Brushing Teeth Effectively
When brushing the teeth, it is important to use the proper techniques to ensure brushing is as effective at removing plaque as possible. Follow these brushing tips to properly brush the teeth:
- Brush at least twice a day: The teeth should be brushed at least twice a day, every day. Brushing in the morning, after breakfast, and before bed, after you're done eating for the day, is recommended for reducing exposure to plaque and tartar.
- Brush at a 45-degree angle: Hold the toothbrush at a 45-degree angle when brushing. Brushing at this angle helps the brush reach within the gum line to prevent plaque and tartar buildup.
- Brush for a full two minutes: It is important not to speed through brushing as this can leave behind harmful plaque and bacteria. Brushing for a full two minutes is a good way to ensure a thoroughly clean smile.
- Use small circular movements: Use small circular motions when brushing rather than vigorously scrubbing back and forth. This helps prevent scratches in the tooth enamel and receding gums.
- Brush all surfaces of the teeth: It is also important to thoroughly brush all surfaces of the teeth to reduce the risk of tooth decay. Care should be taken to brush the cheek-side of the teeth, the tongue-side of the teeth, and the chewing surfaces.
- Replace your toothbrush: Over time, a toothbrush's bristles will lose their effectiveness, leaving behind plaque and food debris. Replacing your toothbrush every three months can help ensure a healthy smile.
Tips for Flossing
Flossing is just as important as brushing the teeth and should not be skipped. There are different methods for flossing that provide an effective clean. One of the most common ways is to wrap an 18- to 20-inch piece of floss around two of your fingers and gently glide the floss between your teeth. Another option is to use a plastic flossing tool. These are especially useful in helping children floss their teeth. Whatever method you use to floss, following these tips can help ensure a thorough clean.
- Floss between each tooth: Care should be taken to floss along each side of each tooth and as far along the gum line as possible. Curve the floss around the teeth to remove as much plaque as possible.
- Sweep the floss up and down multiple times: To ensure a thorough clean, sweep the floss up and down multiple times along the sides of the teeth.
Schedule a Consultation
For more at-home dental care tips, or to discuss your dental care needs, we welcome you to schedule a consultation with Dr. Gorrell or Dr. Summer today.
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“I moved out of the area 20 years ago and happily drive 40 miles to still see Dr. Gorrell. Best dentist ever.” Kevin B.