Taking care of your teeth at home
At Peters Dental Associates, we’re committed to providing our patients with state-of-the-art dental care in a friendly environment. But in reality there’s still only so much we can do; your home hygiene regimen is the biggest factor in the health of your teeth and gums. Here are some tips to keep your home care up to par.
What is the proper way of brushing my teeth?
Your teeth need to be brushed at least twice a day. Use a soft-bristled brush (bristles that are too stiff can damage your tooth enamel) and use gentle pressure. You should brush for around two minutes, 30 seconds per quarter of your mouth. Here’s how to brush teeth properly:
- Position your tooth brush at a 45-degree angle to the gums. Using small, circular strokes, gently brush the teeth while making sure that the bristles are also touching the gums. Use overlapping circles to cover all the tooth surfaces.
- When brushing, make sure the inner, outer, and biting surfaces of the teeth are included.
- Using the tip of the brush, clean the inner portion of your front teeth.
- It is important to brush the tongue as well to remove existing bacteria and to freshen up your breath. And don’t miss the roof of your mouth.
Electric toothbrushes are recommended by Dr. Peters, but not required as long as you brush diligently. Use a toothpaste with flouride.
What is the correct way of flossing my teeth?
Flossing has two purposes; It removes food debris and plaque from between the teeth, and it stimulates the gums. Floss once daily. Follow these steps to properly floss your teeth:
- Use a piece around 18 inches long. Wrap the thread around your middle fingers and leave 2 inches of thread in between your fingers.
- Use your thumbs and forefingers to gently insert the floss in between each tooth and clean the area following a sawing up and down motion.
- Hold the floss in a “C” shape on each tooth as well as under the gumline. Move the thread up and down to clean every side of the tooth.
If you want more convenience, you can purchase floss holders. Mint or cinnamon flavors make no difference, but if they make you floss more often, then go ahead with those.
What should I remember about rinsing?
Rinsing with mouthwash is an important step after brushing and flossing It also helps clean the teeth after meals if you don’t get the chance to brush.