Going to see Dr. McDowell at McDowell Family and Cosmetic Dentistry is crucial for good dental health, this is true. However, a large part of good dental care happens at home during your daily routines.
Since plaque collects on the surfaces of your teeth as you eat, it builds up throughout the day and needs to be removed regularly. If it isn’t brushed and flossed away, this yellowish, sticky substance will cause tooth decay – this leads to even bigger and more serious dental problems.
As you take care of your teeth at home, keep these products and techniques in mind to maintain a bright, healthy smile!
What Makes a Good Tooth Brush?
Tooth brushes should be changed approximately every three months. When you head to the store for a new tooth brush, the amount of choices can be overwhelming. It’s important to remember that the tooth brush you choose should have a small brush head, well-designed bristles and a comfortable handle. These qualities will help you to reach the plaque that hides on all surfaces of your teeth.
However, the kind of tooth brush you have may not be as important as how you use it. Plaque isn’t going to give up that easily, and teeth need to be brushed for three minutes twice a day to best clean your teeth. Brush along the gumline as well as the inside and outside surfaces of all of your teeth.
What to Look for in a Toothpaste
More so than tooth brushes, there’s a wide-range of toothpastes on the market from which to choose. When it comes to choosing the “right” one, the simple truth is this: when used correctly, all toothpastes fight cavities. Important factors to consider include whether or not to choose a specialized toothpaste, including:
- Whitening toothpaste – these help remove stains from the surfaces of teeth
- Toothpaste for sensitive teeth – this kind can help if you have teeth that are sensitive to temperature or sweets
- All-natural toothpaste – increasing in popularity, these use natural ingredients like peppermint oil and baking soda to clean teeth
- Antibacterial toothpaste – if you have a history of gingivitis, these may help protect your gums
The Truth About Floss
Brushing regularly is essential, but it won’t remove all of the food particles and plaque that are hiding between your teeth and under the gumline. The kind of floss you use will depend on your teeth and your preference. Unwaxed floss is thin and fits easily between teeth, but there are many flavors available. When used carefully and as directed once a day, floss can effectively remove plaque and help keep your smile healthy.
What Does Fluoride Do?
Fluoride, often found in dental hygiene products, helps protect teeth from decay. Useful for preventing cavities, fluoride strengthens the enamel of teeth and protects them from demineralization. It can be found in drinking water in some parts of the country, can be applied directly to teeth, and can be taken as orally as prescribed by a doctor.
While seeing Dr. McDowell twice a year is essential for good dental health, so is taking the necessary steps to ensure that your teeth are clean and healthy as you go about your every day routine. Call McDowell Family and Cosmetic Dentistry today at 503-655-4111 for a personal consultation regarding dental care at home.