Your At-Home Dental Routine

Home Care Tips from a San Diego Dentist

At Advanced Dentistry & Implant Center, our end goal when treating patients is to help them achieve and maintain a lasting, healthy smile. Home care is one of the most important and active roles in achieving that goal. This process involves regular brushing of teeth, a balanced diet, reduction of snacks right before bedtime, and correct use of various dental aids that help control plaque and dental disease-causing bacteria.

#1-Tooth Brushing

Brush your teeth at least twice a day—especially right before going to sleep for the night—with a soft bristle brush and toothpaste that have been approved by the American Dental Association (ADA).

  • Brush all surfaces of your teeth, including the inner, outer, and biting surfaces.
  • Brush your tongue, too, in order to clean away bacteria that cause disease and bad breath.

Electric toothbrushes are highly recommended because they are simple to use and are effective and efficient in removing plaque. Simply apply toothpaste, place the bristles of the electric brush on your gums and teeth, turn the toothbrush on, and brush several teeth at a time. The electric toothbrush will do all the hard work for you!

#2- Flossing

The best way to clean the areas between your teeth and underneath the gum line is daily flossing. This not only cleans these spaces, but also prevents the building up of plaque, which in turn prevents damage to the gums, teeth, and bone.

#3- Rinsing

It is important to rinse your mouth with water after brushing, as well as after meals if you are not able to brush your teeth. If you’re using an over-the-counter product to rinse your mouth, such as a mouthwash, it is recommended that you consult your dentist to find out if it is appropriate for you.

#4- Eating a Healthy Diet

Taking proper care of your teeth is more than brushing and flossing after eating, it begins with eating a healthy diet that will not only assist in maintaining your overall health and immunity, but a diet that will help keep your teeth healthy from the inside out. It's recommended that you eat a balanced diet that is rich in fresh colorful fruits and vegetables and hearty whole grains.

Stay away from sugary soft drinks, and other foods that contain a large amount of sugar such as sticky substances like hard candy, taffy, and sugar-laden teas (sweet tea), juices and drinks. Instead, eat a diet that is rich in lean meats, cheese, yogurt, and milk, all of which are good for clearing out your mouth of harmful sugars and preventing plaque.

It is recommended that you do not snack (especially sweets) right before going to bed, because the foods that are left on your teeth are the most likely to cause cavities during the night. When you are sleeping, your body decreases saliva production which in turn makes it so the saliva cannot clean your mouth efficiently during the hours that you lay sleeping.

#5- Staying away from Smoking

One of the best ways to protect your overall health and your teeth is to avoid using any kind of tobacco product. Smoking increases your chances of getting mouth cancer and periodontal disease (gum disease). If you're a smoker, the healing process can be delayed after you've had a tooth pulled or other surgery on your mouth. Smoking also causes bad breath and stains your teeth.

#6- Using Your Dental Aids

Use other dental aids as recommended by your dentist or dental hygienist:

  • interdental brushes
  • rubber tip stimulators
  • tongue cleaners
  • irrigation devices
  • fluoride
  • medicated rinses

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