At Home Dental Care Seattle, WA
The first step in keeping our teeth healthy is daily plaque removal via brushing, flossing and rinsing. Believe it or not, there is technique involved in performing these steps effectively. Our dentists, Dr. O'Connor and Dr. Walker, will demonstrate these techniques to you at your appointment to ensure your home care is the best it can be.
Tooth brushing helps to remove bacteria-containing plaque that accumulates on the surface, in between, and in the crevices of our teeth. Plaque forms as a result of eating and drinking, and after 12 hours it will start to harden into cement-like tartar which can only be removed professionally. Tartar harbors cavity-causing bacteria and causes bleeding and inflammation in the gum tissue. The American Dental Association recommends you brush your teeth twice a day to prevent plaque and tartar buildup, and thereby reduce your risk for cavities and gum disease.
Proper brushing starts with your toothbrush. We recommend using a soft or ultra-soft bristled brush, as a hard bristled brush can damage enamel. Place this brush angled toward the gumline and massage the bristles against both the tooth surface and adjacent gum tissue. Be sure to brush the front and back of each tooth. This should be done for two full minutes, twice a day.
When brushing try to apply light pressure to your teeth. People regularly overdo it when it comes to pressing on their teeth. The bacteria present on your teeth can be removed with light pressure. Some people tend to think that is some is good, more must be better! If you press too hard while brushing, you can actually damage the enamel on your teeth. Enamel doesn’t grow back and can’t be repaired so take it easy and brush with a light touch.
Flossing is a step that is extremely important and yet often neglected. Flossing removes the plaque in between the teeth that your toothbrush bristles cannot reach. Regular flossing will reduce your risk of both gum disease and developing cavities between the teeth. Our team at Crown Hill Smiles will show you how to floss using the "letter C" technique to maximize the surface area of the teeth and gums that are being cleaned. Any time is a good time to floss, as long as you are flossing once a day.
Rinsing is another helpful step in your daily dental hygiene ritual. Rinses help reduce the amount of bacteria that is present in your mouth that can cause infection. We recommend alcohol-free rinses that contain fluoride.
When you don’t have the option to use special mouthwashes or rinses we advise that you rinse with water. A quick rinse with some water at work after lunch can help to wash away all those extra food particles that would otherwise sit stagnant in your mouth for the rest of the day.
For more information on how to care for your teeth between office visits, please contact Crown Hill Smiles at our Seattle, WA location by calling (206) 204-9623.