5 Ways to Keep Your Smile Healthy at Home

Preventive dental care is more than routine dental check-ups. Engaging in an effective at-home oral hygiene regimen is a critical component of preventing plaque and decay from causing long-term dental problems. To make sure you are practicing best oral hygiene at home, consider adding the following techniques into your daily dental routine.

1. Opt for Electric

In order to effectively remove plaque from the teeth, patients should be brushing each side of their teeth with small, circular motions. While some may find this easy to do with a manual toothbrush, electric toothbrushes are designed to gently scrub the teeth in this manner, efficiently removing plaque build-up in hard-to-reach places. As many electric toothbrushes are programmed to brush for the full ADA-recommended two minutes, patients do not need to worry about not brushing long enough. 

2. Floss Daily

Over 40% of your teeth’s surface area lies in the spaces between, as well as below the gum line. As a result, flossing is a critical part of plaque removal and overall oral hygiene. To properly floss, start with about an arms-length worth of floss and loosely wind about six inches between your middle finger and thumb. Holding the floss taut with your index and thumb, gently guide it between your teeth, making a C-pattern between each tooth and under the gums. Avoid forcing the floss between tight spaces, as this can be damaging to the soft tissue. 

3. Follow-Up with a Rubber Pick

To truly improve your at-home hygiene regimen, consider finishing your routine with a rubber-tipped dental pick. Available as most drugstores, this tool is run along the gum line to remove any plaque or food left behind by brushing or flossing. A rubber dental pick also helps stimulate blood flow, encouraging healthy tissue. Finish your hygiene routine by using an anti-cavity or anti-plaque mouthwash to rinse away any leftover plaque. 

4. Evaluate your Diet

What you eat plays a significant role on your overall oral health. Sugary foods and drinks can increase plaque production, while acidic foods can gradually wear down dental enamel. A balanced, low-fat and low-sodium diet that includes plenty of whole grains, vegetables, fruits, and dairy can help keep your smile healthy and strong.

5. Consider Your Habits

Certain habits can also influence your oral health, ranging from chewing ice to teeth grinding and clenching. By compromising the teeth enamel, patients run the risk of bacteria entering the inner pulp chamber and creating long-term problems. Other habits, in particular the continued use of tobacco products, can increase the risk of developing oral cancer as well as gum disease. Understanding the consequences of these habits and developing solutions for addressing them is a key component to maintaining a healthy smile. 

At Family Dental Associates of NJ, our team is committed to helping all patients achieve and maintain lifelong healthy smiles. Our commitment to patient education ensures that each patient learns about their unique dental needs and has the access to dental care tailored to their smile. To learn more about keeping your smile healthy at home, contact our Hackensack dental team today. 


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