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Dentists can only make limited contributions to your lasting dental health. Your personal home care plays an essential role in achieving a beautiful, healthy smile. A comprehensive dental care routine involves eating balanced meals, avoiding sugary snacks and correctly using the various dental aids that fight dental disease by eliminating plaque and bacteria.
Brush your teeth at least twice a day (especially before bedtime), ensuring you complete the following steps:
- Place the brush against your teeth at a 45-degree angle to the gums and gently move the brush in a tight, circular motion, ensuring that the bristles are always making contact with the gums.
- Brush the outer, inner, and biting surfaces of each tooth.
- Angle the tip of the brush vertically to clean the inside of the front teeth.
- Brush your tongue to get rid of bacteria and maintain fresh breath.
You should always use toothpaste and ensure that your toothbrush has soft bristles to avoid putting unnecessary pressure on the teeth.
Electric toothbrushes are simple and efficient tools to remove plaque. Lightly press the bristles of the electric brush on your gums and teeth and allow the brush to eliminate bacteria as you move it from tooth to tooth.
Daily flossing is necessary to remove bacteria between the teeth and under the gum line. Flossing prevents plaque colonies from building up and causing gum, teeth, and bone deterioration. Complete the following steps when flossing:
- Wrap 30-40cm of dental floss around your middle fingers, placing your hands 5cm apart.
- Gently slip the floss between your teeth and use your thumbs and index fingers to guide the floss back and forth.
- Curve the floss around each tooth and under the gumline into a horseshoe or “C” shape. Gently slide the floss up and down each tooth to remove bacteria in between the teeth.
If you have difficulty holding and guiding conventional floss, floss holders can be used.
Rinsing your mouth out with water after brushing and after meals ensures that bacteria and food debris do not remain in your mouth. If you are rinsing with an over-the-counter product, it’s important to ask your dentist or dental hygienist if the product is suitable for you.