Establishing an oral hygiene routine with your dentist and dental hygienist is an essential part of keeping your teeth and gums healthy. Everyone has different oral health needs, but everyone can find some benefit from this basic routine. This routine includes techniques on brushing, flossing, and using a daily fluoride mouth rinse! Here is a list of Heather’s oral hygiene routine that she uses:
- She brushes 2 times daily, for 2 minutes, using her electric toothbrush with a rechargeable, wall-outlet battery. It is important to note that if you do choose to use an electric brush, you let the brush do most of the brushing work for you so you are not scrubbing too hard. A manual brush is also good to use, if used with good-brushing techniques, that your hygienist will go over with you! For both electric and manual brushes, using a soft head brush and not applying too much pressure while brushing is key, as this can cause wear to the teeth and even cause gum recession if you are brushing too hard! A simple, gentle, circular motion for 2 minutes, angling the toothbrush head where the gum meets the tooth, will keep your healthy and clean!
- 2.She gently flosses, using a waxed floss to removed plaque/bacteria from in between the teeth, where the toothbrush can’t reach. Wrapping the floss around 2 fingers she hugs each tooth to bring bacteria and plaque up and out of the gum-pocket.
- Her next step is to inspect her teeth in mirror for any white, plaque left over on the teeth, usually right along the gum-line. Sometimes spots of plaque can be missed while brushing, and it is important to take a glance at your teeth after you are done brushing and flossing to see that you have removed all bacteria and food from the teeth. If you notice there is still white plaque on your teeth, be sure to go back with the toothbrush and floss!
- Heather last step in her oral hygiene routine is to swish with a non-alcohol containing, fluoride mouth rinse before bed for 1 minute to reduce amount of bacteria in her mouth, and leave a protective layer of fluoride on the teeth to prevent cavities, while she sleeps. She does not rinse with water after using the mouth rinse, because if she does, this will reduce the effectiveness of the fluoride on the teeth. She does this step right before bed because she will not eat or drink for 30 minutes after using the mouth rinse to leave the fluoride layer on her teeth, to reduce her chances of getting a cavity by strengthening her tooth enamel.
Dr. Brian H Yoon is a general dentist in North Andover, MA. His office provides comprehensive general dentistry for children and adults.