When it comes to your at-home oral hygiene routine, there is always room for improvement. And the more effectively you care for your teeth, the less like you are to experience issues like tooth decay and gum disease. Wondering what steps you can take to improve your dental health? Take a look at these at-home oral care best practices from Redmond Art of Dentistry.
1. BRUSH AT LEAST TWICE A DAY FOR TWO MINUTES
Hopefully, you are already doing this. For optimal oral health, you should be brushing your teeth twice per day for two minutes. We recommend brushing once after breakfast and once before you go to bed to maximize the removal of plaque, bacteria, and food particles.
In addition, you should ensure you’re brushing with a fluoride toothpaste. Fluoride helps rebuild enamel and strengthens it, which prevents tooth decay and ensures that your smile remains strong and healthy.
2. FLOSS ONCE A DAY
If you’re not flossing every day, you’re not alone. Only about 16% of people floss every day, according to a study by the ADA. But flossing is essential for your oral health. Brushing alone cannot reach the tight spaces between your teeth. It’s been estimated that brushing only cleans about 60% of each tooth’s surface.
To clean the remaining 40%, you need to floss. Follow this video guide if you need a refresher on proper flossing technique. You can floss whenever you want as long as you do it at least once per day.
3. INCORPORATE MOUTHWASH INTO YOUR DENTAL CARE ROUTINE
Mouthwash is a great addition to your dental care routine. We recommend avoiding alcohol-based mouthwashes, as they can dry out your mouth and actually increase your risk of tooth decay or cavities, particularly if you already struggle with poor saliva flow.
Instead, choose an alcohol-free mouthwash that has antibacterial properties and fluoride, and is certified by the ADA.
When should you rinse with mouthwash? It’s a good idea to rinse after meals if you can’t brush your teeth. Rinsing after flossing is also a good idea, as it can help remove any plaque or food debris that was knocked loose during the flossing process.
However, we don’t recommend using mouthwash immediately after brushing your teeth. This is because mouthwash could rinse away the fluoride from your toothpaste. For the best results, fluoride should remain on your teeth for 10-20 minutes after brushing. This will help strengthen your teeth.
For that reason, you should not rinse your mouth with water or with mouthwash immediately after brushing. Wait a little while to ensure that your brushing routine is as effective as possible!
FOLLOW THESE TIPS FOR A BRIGHT, HEALTHY SMILE!
At-home oral health care is the most important part of preventive dentistry. While regular six-month oral exams and teeth cleanings from Dr. Bickel are important, they are no substitute for at-home oral care.
So follow these tips to ensure you’re taking care of your teeth properly. And if you need a checkup in Redmond, just contact Redmond Art of Dentistry online or give us a call at (425) 386-7599 to schedule a consultation with Dr. Daniel Bickel.