Maintaining Oral Health Between Check-ups
If you have ever been to a bi-annual dental checkup, you have likely undergone a professional teeth cleaning. While some patients experience dental fear surrounding their teeth cleanings, others look forward to the clean, refreshed feeling that comes afterwards.
During teeth cleanings at Austell Dental Associates, we do our best to create this satisfactory experience even in patients who have experienced dental fear in the past. To optimize their oral health to the best of our ability, we offer our patients advice for caring for their teeth in between appointments. The specific advice we provide you will depend on your current dental condition and individual needs.
In general, the following tips tend to be part of our recommendations. Please note that these tips are not meant to be a replacement for regular dental cleanings! Regular teeth cleanings will help to prevent gum disease, which will reduce your chances of deadly complications like heart disease down the line.
How To Deep Clean Teeth At Home
All of these tips involve the following:
- Using mouthwash
For other aspects of deep cleaning like scaling and root planing, it is best to see a professional. The tools used during this procedure are sharp and can cause gum damage, gum recession, and even an infection if not used properly, making it unsafe to perform at home. Below are some safe steps you can take at home to maintain your oral hygiene between visits:
- Make sure to brush your teeth at least twice daily with a toothbrush that is comfortable and well-designed for your teeth.
In general, small-headed toothbrushes are better able to reach smaller areas in your mouth, and soft-bristled toothbrushes are most effective at removing plaque from the teeth. The handle should be comfortable enough to hold in your hand for the required amount of time needed to clean the teeth fully. For most people, the process can be completed in about two minutes, twice a day.
- Not only is it important to have the right toothbrush – it is also important to keep your toothbrush clean!
If you are brushing your teeth with a dirty toothbrush, your other efforts might be lost. To clean your toothbrush, run hot water over it before and after each use. Next, soak it in antibacterial mouthwash. If you would like to take extra precautions, you can even use a UV toothbrush sanitizer to clean your toothbrush fully. If using a standard disposable toothbrush, the average person will need to get a new one every three to four months.
- Floss at least once daily and make sure to use the right floss for you.
The American Dental Association recommends cleaning between the teeth with floss at least once a day. For thinner spaces between the teeth, a thinner floss is ideal, and a thicker floss is ideal for larger spaces.
- Look for toothpaste that contains the right ingredients.
At your appointment, we will walk you through the best ingredients for cleaning your specific smile. In general, the most important ingredient to look for in a toothpaste is fluoride. Fluoride helps slow down the reduction of minerals in the enamel, reduces development of cavities, helps prevent buildup of bacteria, and strengthens the enamel.
- Look for mouthwashes that do not contain alcohol.
We don’t mean the alcohol found in cocktails, which can also cause dehydration and increase the risk of gum disease over time. Alcohol contained in some mouthwashes can help to diffuse other ingredients like essential oils, but it can also cause an unpleasant taste, teeth staining, a sensation of dry mouth, and worsened breath. On the other hand, using mouthwash with ingredients like fluoride and cetylpyrinium chloride, which helps eliminate bad breath and kill bacteria, is an extra step you can take after brushing to freshen your breath, prevent plaque buildup, remove loose particles, and help prevent cavities from forming.
Why Undergo a Professional Teeth Cleaning?
When we remind you to attend your routine dental check-ups, the primary reason is so you can avoid unpleasant dental issues like tooth decay and gum problems. By examining your oral condition and professionally cleaning your teeth, your dentist is able to help you avoid these issues. Austell Dental Associates will go above and beyond the standard process of cleaning plaque and tartar off your teeth. We will examine any underlying issues, help you prevent them moving forward, and provide expert advice about the best ways to maintain your individual oral health between appointments.