Your Oral Health Cheat Sheet

Are you worried that you might not be doing everything right when it comes to your at-home oral health care? Regular cleanings at our Kennewick dentist office might be an important part of your dental care routine, but there’s still the need for good habits between appointments! Don’t get hung up on the things you might be doing wrong – instead use those as spots to start improving!

We’ve build this oral health care cheat sheet just for you! You’ll find great strategies for good home care and also some tips and tricks you may not have been aware of! Hopefully our list will be the exact thing you need to help you square away your home care routine!

Supplies You’ll Need

  • One toothbrush, soft bristled.
    • Be sure to keep this brush properly maintained. Replace it every three months or when the bristles become too worn to give you a good brushing.
    • Soft bristles are ideal. Hard ones can damage your teeth and gums, especially if you’re a hard brusher.
  • Toothpaste with fluoride.
    • Toothpaste with just a little bit of added fluoride can give you a good boost in the health of your enamel. As plaque bacteria produces acid that eats away at your enamel you can experience tooth decay and gum disease. Fluoride helps reverse the damage – every little bit helps!
  • Floss
    • The type that’s best for you is dependent on your teeth and the space between them. Tight spaces will be best served with ribbon-style floss, whereas wider spaces can benefit better from woven floss.

Procedures Involved

    • Brushing
      • Brush at least twice daily, in the morning and before bed.
      • Brush for at least two minutes each time.
      • If you eat large amounts of starchy or sugary foods, consider brushing more often.
    • Flossing
      • Floss once a day, before bed.
      • Make sure to get in between each tooth, top and bottom – you never know where plaque is hiding!
      • Rinsing
        • Make sure you rinse thoroughly, both after brushing and flossing.

Best Practices

      • Brushing
        • Don’t brush too hard. Even with a soft-bristled brush you can damage your gums and teeth, contributing to periodontal disease and tooth decay.
        • Hold your brush at a 45 degree angle to your teeth.
        • Sweep down from your gums to the crown of your teeth.
        • Each individual tooth should be cared for, so be sure that your brush strokes are no wider than a single tooth.
        • Make to get all the surfaces of your teeth: front, top, and back.
        • Two minutes of brushing should be adequate, but don’t stop if you’re taking longer. The most important thing is to care for your teeth!
      • Flossing
        • Your floss strip should be at least 18 inches long.
        • Wrap the floss around your middle fingers and use your index fingers to help guide it.
        • Floss between each tooth with a clean piece of floss.
        • You can get into the gum line with floss, and should do so if you’re comfortable with it. Just make sure the floss is clean!

Catching Problems Early

If you’ve noticed any of the symptoms below it might be time for a dentist appointment!

      • Bleeding gums: this can be do to overly heavy brushing, but also due to periodontal disease.
      • Sensitive teeth: not uncommon, this can be harmless or a sign of tooth decay.
      • Toothache: can indicate an infection of gums, teeth, or bone.
      • Loose teeth or receding gums: both of these conditions can indicate periodontal disease.

Don’t ignore signs of trouble or worrying symptoms – if you’re in pain, discomfort, or worried it’s always better to have it checked and catch the problem now!

Extra Tips

      • Do you brush after every meal? If you do it’s important to wait if you’ve eaten an acidic meal or snack. Acids from citrus, pickles, and other foods soften your enamel. Brushing can cause excess damage, so wait half an hour after eating to clean your teeth.
      • Starchy foods can be just as bad as sugar, so be sure to keep your mouth clean after eating pretzels, chips, crackers, or other refined carbohydrate snacks!

Hopefully you found this cheat sheet helpful. At Marineland Dental Care we believe in educating our patients to help them reach their full potential, and this is just one more way we try hard to provide that service!

If you have any questions about the information given here, don’t hesitate to call us at 509-591-0515! You can also schedule an appointment right here online usingour online appointment request form. We look forward to helping you in any way we can!

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