Up Your Oral Hygiene Game While You’re Stuck at Home
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Recently, we shared some common kinds of dental emergencies and how to prevent them. As a holistic dental practice, we believe that prevention is always the best medicine. And the best way to prevent decay and other emergencies is through good and consistent basic oral hygiene like brushing and flossing. Here are some tips from our Team at Prescott Dentistry on how to up your oral hygiene game while you’re stuck at home and unable to come in for routine cleanings.
Brush up on Brushing
- Frequency. Brush your teeth at least twice a day.
- Take your time. Brush your teeth for two minutes to ensure they are thoroughly clean.
- Use the proper brushing technique. Hold your toothbrush at a slight angle, with the bristles aimed toward your gum line. Gently move the brush back and forth with short, circular motions. Brushing too aggressively can damage the gums.
- Wait 30 minutes after eating or drinking to brush your teeth. If you had something acidic, like coffee or soda, rinse your mouth out with water, then brush after 30 minutes.
- Don’t forget your tongue! Your tongue is host to all kinds of harmful bacteria, which can lead to tooth decay and bad breath. This important piece of the routine can be easily overlooked.
- Use an electric toothbrush if possible. Electric toothbrushes can reduce plaque and gingivitis more than manual brushes. They are also easier to use if you have arthritis.
- Keep your toothbrush clean.
- Rinse your brush thoroughly with clean water every time after you brush, and allow it to air dry. This will help remove any debris.
- Don’t share your toothbrush with anyone, even your partner or children.
- Put the head of your toothbrush in a small glass of antibacterial mouthwash if you want extra cleaning power—but using a toothbrush sanitizer isn’t necessary.
- You can disinfect your toothbrush at home! There are a couple of options for this. You can submerge the bristles of your tooth brush in either 3% Hydrogen Peroxide, Mouthwash (with alcohol as an ingredient) or boiling water. Leave bristles submerged for up to 15 min.
- Running low on toothpaste? You can temporarily use coconut oil instead! Coconut oil is a natural antimicrobial agent that attacks harmful bacteria and reduces plaque build-up. It also helps to whiten your teeth! You can even add a splash of peppermint oil for that fresh breath feeling.
- Discard. Replace your worn toothbrush at least every three months. Need a new toothbrush? Call us! We would be happy to mail you a new toothbrush or put one outside for you to pick up!
Benefits of Flossing
In the last few years, there has been some debate in the news about the effectiveness of flossing. However, dental experts agree that even if there isn’t a lot of strong scientific evidence, it doesn’t mean there are no benefits to flossing. As dentists, we can immediately tell the difference between a patient who flosses and one who doesn’t. Here are some of the benefits of flossing:
- Flossing helps prevent tooth decay. Proper flossing removes the plaque that can build up between the teeth. Unfortunately, toothbrushes are not effective at reaching this thin space between the teeth.
- Flossing helps prevent gingivitis. Gingivitis is a serious condition because it can lead to periodontitis and tooth loss if not treated properly. Flossing daily helps to remove the bacterial growth between your teeth that can contribute to gingivitis.
- Flossing improves breath. Food debris and bacteria trapped in between the teeth can cause foul odors. Flossing daily can help remove these particles of food and bacteria, which will not only freshen your breath, but will also help keep your smile more beautiful.
Flossing properly removes plaque and food particles in places a toothbrush cannot reach—between your teeth and under your gum line. A buildup of plaque in those unreached areas can lead to gum disease and tooth decay. The American Dental Association (ADA) recommends daily flossing, and at Prescott Dentistry, we agree with that recommendation. Most of us learned how to floss as children, but the learning probably stopped there. Check out this video from the ADA to make sure you’re flossing correctly!
Give us a Call
As soon as we are able, we will be available for all of your preventative dental care needs. Until then, if you run low on any oral hygiene tools (floss, toothbrush, go-betweens) call us, we can arrange for you to get the items you need! And, ensure you are practicing optimal oral hygiene to prevent tooth decay from developing. If you have a dental emergency, be sure to give our team at Prescott Dentistry a call right away.