A beautiful, healthy smile that lasts a lifetime is our ultimate goal for you. Your personal home care plays an important role in achieving that goal. It starts at home by eating balanced meals, reducing the number of snacks you eat, and correctly using the various dental aids that help control the plaque and bacteria that cause dental disease.
Brush your teeth at least twice a day (especially before going to bed at night) with an CDA approved soft bristle brush and toothpaste.
- Place the brush at a 45 degree angle to the gums and gently brush using a small, circular motion, ensuring that you always feel the bristles on the gums.
- Brush the outer, inner, and biting surfaces of each tooth.
- Use the tip of the brush to clean the inside of your front teeth.
- Brush your tongue to remove bacteria and freshen your breath. Electric toothbrushes are also recommended. They are easy to use and can remove plaque efficiently. Simply place the bristles of the electric brush on your gums and teeth and allow the brush to do its job, several teeth at a time.
Daily flossing is the best way to clean between the teeth and under the gum line. Flossing cleans spaces, and prevents plaque colonies from building up.
Take 12-16 inches (30-40 cm) of dental floss and wrap it around your middle fingers, leaving about 2 inches (5 cm) of floss between your hands.
- Using your thumbs and forefingers to guide the floss, gently insert the floss between teeth using a gentle sawing motion.
- Curve the floss into a “C” shape around each tooth and under the gum line. Gently move the floss up and down, cleaning the side of each tooth.
Floss holders are recommended if you have difficulty using conventional floss.
It is important to rinse your mouth with water after brushing, and also after meals if you are unable to brush. If you are using an over-the-counter product for rinsing, it’s a good idea to ask your dentist or dental hygienist whether it’s right for you.
Other dental aids may be recommended by your dentist or dental hygienist:
- interdental brushes
- rubber tip stimulators
- tongue cleaners
- irrigation devices
- medicated rinses
Fluoride is the most effective form of tooth decay prevention available. It is a naturally present mineral in almost all food and water sources.
Fluoride treatment works in two ways:
Topical fluoride: This strengthens the teeth once they have emerged by infiltrating the enamel, making the teeth more resistant to decay. Topical fluoride can be found in dental products such as toothpaste, mouth washes, and gels. We generally recommend that adolescents have anl application of fluoride twice a year at their dental check-ups.
Systemic fluoride: This treatment strengthens the teeth that have emerged as well as those that are growing under the gumline. Systemic Fluoride is also available as a supplement in drop/gel form and can be prescribed by your dentist or GP. Typically, fluoride drops are used for babies, and tablets for children. It is important to watch the amounts of fluoride a child ingests. If too much is ingested while the teeth are still growing, fluorosis (white spots on the teeth) may occur.
Although most people receive healthy amounts of fluoride from food and water, it isn’t always enough to prevent decay. Your dentist may recommend the use of home fluoride treatments for the following reasons:
- Exposed and sensitive root surfaces.
- Fair to poor oral hygiene habits.
- Frequent sugar and carbohydrate intake.
- Inadequate exposure to fluorides.
- Inadequate saliva flow due to medical conditions, medical treatments or medications.
- Recent history of dental decay.