At-Home Dental Care Tips Between Cleanings

At-Home Dental Care Tips Between Cleanings

by Simone Bueno (SU)

Visiting a dentist helps with dental care, but what can you do between visits? Brushing your teeth is a great way to prevent dental problems. Maintaining excellent oral hygiene can reduce the risk of visits from dentists and overall bad breath by keeping gums clean. Read on to learn excellent tips on caring for your teeth at home.

Brushing Habits

It's best to brush at least twice a day for optimal dental care. Frequent brushing removes plaque and bacteria. Bacteria is detrimental to dental health because it can produce acids that break down your tooth enamel. Brushing also removes the food particles stuck between your teeth that actually feeds the oral bacteria.

It helps to brush your teeth after every meal. However, it might be counterproductive to brush immediately after eating acidic food and beverages. Acids soften your tooth enamel enough that you can remove some of it by brushing. Brushing regularly after eating acidic food can wear out the outer layers of your teeth, leading to tooth sensitivity and cavities.

Good Brushing Habits:

  • Keep your toothbrush at a 45’ angle. This angle is optimal for removing plaque and food residue.
  • Aim your bristles near the gum line and brush using circular, back-and-forth motions.
  • Don't overbrush — excess pressure can wear down tooth enamel. 
  • Allot around two minutes of brushing and ensure that you cover all teeth surfaces, especially near the back.
  • Change your toothbrush every 3 to 4 months.
  • Choose toothbrushes with gentle and soft bristles to avoid damage.

The equipment and materials you use for brushing also matter for dental care. Rinse them out thoroughly with running water every after use and store them in a well-ventilated place to prevent bacteria and mold growth. Additionally, the bristle movement of an electric toothbrush can help you clean your teeth better. Electric toothbrushes are also easier to use for patients with arthritis or the elderly.

Flossing Tips

Another critical habit for dental care is regular flossing. Brushing alone cannot remove food particles and plaque from the spaces stuck between teeth. Therefore, flossing once a day at night helps protect these areas from tooth decay.

When flossing, your floss should be approximately 18 inches long. This length lets you use fresh floss material per tooth while also providing enough space for you to grip. To begin, gently slide the floss between each tooth and apply light tension to the side of one tooth once you reach your gumline. Move the floss up and down across one tooth, then repeat for the other tooth in the same gap.

If you prefer not to use floss, consider using an interdental cleaner. It comes in the form of dental picks, tiny brushes, or a water flosser. Consult your dentist to help you determine the best device to use.

Tooth-Friendly Diets

Keeping up with your diet is also important for dental care. Avoid excessive consumption of food and beverages rich in carbohydrates as well as sticky food. They contain high amounts of sugar and simple starches that provide oral bacteria a food source to thrive. 

Eating a well-balanced meal can help protect your teeth. Complex carbohydrates, proteins and fat, are harder for oral bacteria to break down and turn into acids.  Also, firmer foods, such as fruits and vegetables, help stimulate saliva production as you chew them, which helps dilute bacterial acids. Finally, diets rich in calcium and potassium help restore minerals to damaged areas of the tooth enamel, preventing them from worsening and turning into cavities.

Avoid Drinking And Smoking

Regular smoking and excessive drinking will pose oral health problems in the long run. Smoking produces tartar that can permanently discolor your teeth. Smoking can also damage the gums and other mucous membranes, making you more susceptible to mouth conditions.

Meanwhile, drinking alcoholic drinks can dry out your mouth, removing the protection provided by your saliva. Many alcoholic beverages also contain simple sugars, which benefit unwanted oral bacteria.

Dental Care in Eugene, Oregon

Practicing fundamental dental care habits can keep your teeth healthy while waiting for your next professional cleaning. By brushing and flossing properly, adopting a teeth-friendly diet, and lifestyle, you can prevent many dental care issues from occurring. In addition, it is better not to miss your appointments with your dentist. A consultation will help you learn the best practices for your specific needs.

360 Dental provides patients in Eugene, Oregon, with leading-edge dental care, from dental cleaning to tooth implants. With the latest in professional dental health techniques combined with compassionate care, we deliver only the best. You can inquire by calling us at (541) 689-1645. If you'd like to schedule a visit, kindly use our online appointment form.