Oral Hygiene in Gonzales
Professional Oral Hygiene Tips & Treatments
Proper oral hygiene is important for people of all ages. In fact, it’s one of the easiest and most effective ways to prevent cavities, gingivitis, periodontitis, and other oral health conditions while simultaneously improving the look and feel of your smile.
At Gonzales Dental, we believe in providing our patients with the information they need to maintain a proper foundation for optimal oral health. To that end, we’ve put together some helpful oral hygiene tips for effective at-home care. We also offer professional oral hygiene treatments in Gonzales and can provide personalized recommendations during an in-person dental examination or check-up.
Continue reading to learn more about improving your oral hygiene, or contact us today at (830) 971-0268 to set up an appointment with Gonzales Dental.
How to Properly Brush Your Teeth
One of the most basic elements of an at-home oral hygiene routine is brushing your teeth. Although many people don’t realize it, however, there is a right way—and a wrong way—to brush your teeth.
Below, we’ve provided some tips on how to properly brush your teeth:
- First, we recommend that you use a soft bristle toothbrush. Look for those labeled “soft” or “extra soft.”
- Begin by holding your toothbrush at a 45-degree angle relative to the line where your teeth and gums meet.
- Using light pressure and utilizing small strokes, move the toothbrush in a circular motion several times over the outside surface of each tooth.
- After brushing the outside surfaces of all your teeth, repeat this process on the inside surfaces of each tooth. Hold the toothbrush vertically to brush the backs of your front teeth.
- Brush the biting surfaces (tops and bottoms) of each tooth using small, gentle strokes. Be sure to clean every surface of each tooth.
- Finish by gently brushing the surrounding gums, then thoroughly rinsing your mouth to remove any loosened plaque.
We recommend that you brush your teeth using this method at least twice a day, ideally in the morning and at night. To improve your oral hygiene even more, brush your teeth after each meal.
How to Properly Floss
Flossing is a critical part of oral health and hygiene, but many people skip this step. While brushing your teeth is also very important, flossing is the best way to loosen plaque from the surfaces of the teeth, as well as remove food particles from hard-to-reach spots between the teeth and under the gum line.
When flossing, be sure to follow these steps:
- Take a piece of waxed floss about 12 to 18 inches in length and lightly wrap the ends around each of your middle fingers.
- Hold the length of floss tightly between the thumb and index finger of each hand, pulling until the floss is taut.
- Using a gentle, back-and-forth motion, carefully insert the length of floss between each tooth until it meets the gums.
- Use your fingers to curve the floss into the shape of a C against one tooth, then move the floss along the gums and gently around the side of the tooth.
- Repeat this step on the other tooth, forming a C on the opposite side and carefully moving the floss up and down.
- Remove the floss from the space and turn your fingers to move a new section of floss into place before repeating the process on each tooth.
- After flossing on both sides of all upper and lower teeth, thoroughly rinse your mouth to remove any loosened plaque and food particles.
In the beginning, flossing can lead to mild gum soreness or tenderness, as well as bleeding. This is normal. However, if flossing hurts, you may be pressing the floss too hard against the gums.
We recommend using this method to floss at least once a day, ideally at night before bed. However, certain individuals—including those with gingivitis or periodontal disease—may need to floss more frequently to halt the progression of gum disease. Over time, daily flossing can prevent gum disease from getting worse and improve your overall oral health.
How to Choose the Right Oral Healthcare Products
With so many oral healthcare products to choose from—all of which seem to promise incredible results—it can be difficult to know which ones to choose. While everyone’s needs are different, there are some things to keep in mind when selecting products for your at-home oral hygiene routine.
Here are a few tips for choosing the following oral healthcare products:
- Manual Toothbrushes: When choosing a manual toothbrush, look for one labeled “soft” or “extra soft.” Those labeled “medium” or “hard” can be harsh on your teeth and gums and may lead to irritation or inflammation.
- Electric Toothbrushes: Electric toothbrushes may be more effective when it comes to proper at-home brushing. Also known as “automatic” or “high-tech” toothbrushes, electric toothbrushes are considered safe for most patients.
- Water Spraying Devices: Commonly referred to by the brand name, Waterpik, water spraying devices (oral irrigators) are effective when it comes to rinsing, but they do not remove plaque. These devices should be used alongside—not in place of—proper brushing and flossing.
- Toothpaste: There are a variety of toothpastes available on the market, which address a range of varying concerns. Fluoride toothpastes can help dramatically reduce tooth decay, while others can decrease tooth and gum sensitivity.
- Mouthwash: Some mouthwashes contain fluoride which, when used with proper brushing and flossing, can help decrease tooth decay by as much as 40%. Many mouthwashes are also used to help control and eliminate bad breath.
- Anti-Plaque Rinses: Certain anti-plaque rinses have been approved by the FDA to help stop the progression of early gum disease, such as gingivitis. These rinses should always be used alongside teeth brushing and flossing for best results.
Gonzales Dental can help you determine the best products to optimize your at-home oral healthcare routine. Feel free to ask your dentist or oral hygienist for recommendations during your next teeth cleaning appointment, or contact us today for more information.
Call (830) 971-0268 to get in touch with a member of our team!
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