Flossing every day!
We have found that a majority of people do not floss regularly. In fact, did you know that there is a correct and incorrect way to floss your teeth? We call the correct way to floss the “C-curve method.” Flossing with this proper technique will make sure that plaque and bacteria are not only cleaned in between your teeth, but also the debris beneath your gums is removed. Flossing incorrectly can actually do more damage to your gums, so make sure you ask your hygienist if you are using floss the correct way!
It is important to your gums that you brush with a soft or extra soft toothbrush, and apply gentle pressure in a circular motion. Brushing with harder bristles and scrubbing your teeth back and forth can be damaging to your gums, and can lead to recession and sensitivity.
The American Dental Association (ADA) has started a campaign for pediatric education called “2min2x,” which encourages kids to brush 2 times per day (in the morning and before bed) for 2 minutes each time. We recommend the same regiment for adults, too! This amount of time has been proven effective to removing the most amount of bacteria and plaque in your mouth.
Use a non-alcohol based mouth wash!
Bellevue Family Dentistry recommends a non-alcohol based mouth wash, such as “Pro Health” or “Biotene.” Use a mouthwash once a day to kill bacteria in your mouth. Although some people may like the “burn” of alcohol based mouthwashes, they can dry out your gums, tongue, and the inside of your cheeks. Because bacteria prefer dry conditions, alcohol-based mouthwashes actually create a better environment for bacteria to grow.
Use a tongue scraper!
Most bacteria is harvested on your tongue and surrounds your taste buds. Using a tongue scraper will not only remove the bacteria that sits on your tongue, but can also help prevent halitosis, and help your food taste better!
Purchasing an electric toothbrush!
Bellevue Family Dentistry provides Oral-B electric toothbrushes for purchase in the office! The investment that patients have made with the purchase of these brushes have shown a huge improvement in oral care and health, and have made dental check-ups for these patients more enjoyable. An electric brush can help remove a significant more plaque than a manual brush. We are partnered with P&G and Oral-B to provide you with this mail in rebate, which includes a 60 day satisfaction guarantee! Download rebate coupon here:
Avoid acidic drinks and foods, and drink more water!
Acidic drinks and foods, such as soft drinks, energy drinks, sports drinks, lemons, tomatoes, wine, and sour candies, can be harmful to your enamel. Acids break down your enamel and begin the process of developing cavities. If you enjoy these sugary and acidic treats, we recommend that after you eat these, to wait 30 minutes before brushing your teeth. The acids remain on your teeth for a period of time, and if you brush immediately, they can be abrasive and cause erosion to your enamel. Remember that moderation is key! Also, we cannot stress enough the importance of drinking water. Water helps flush away bacteria and acidic drinks and foods, and neutralizes the mouth. Bacteria strive under acidic conditions, and water will help prevent the decay process.
Whitening can be beneficial, too!
Did you know that whitening your teeth can be good for your teeth? Some people are under the impression that whitening gels break down the enamel, but actually the whitening agent is a neutrally pH balanced material that can help prevent bacteria production.