09:18 AM

Oral Health at Home, Oral Health Everywhere!

An important element of Preventistry is focusing on oral health not just when a person is interacting with the dentist but also at home, work, and, well… everywhere. Care received from a dental provider is important. However, many other factors affect our ability to be healthy.  

In the health field, we often think of barriers to access or economic obstacles. But we also know as much as 40 percent of health can be attributed to individual behaviors. That means what we do in between dental visits truly matters.  

Join us on our Preventistry revolution as we empower people with information to improve the state of our overall health. These consumer tips are easy to share, and you may learn something new, so take a look: 

  • Floss. There’s been a lot of talk about flossing, but it certainly can reach the tight spaces between your teeth and under the gumline that a toothbrush can’t. Perhaps surprisingly, you should floss before brushing so the toothbrush can clear away anything the floss loosens up. 

    • Break off about 18 inches of dental floss. Wind most of the floss around the middle finger on one hand, and the rest around the middle finger on the other hand. Grip the floss tightly between your thumbs and forefingers. Be sure to go soft on your gums. Lightly rub the floss between your teeth – one tooth at a time. Curve it around each tooth and rub it up and down the side of each tooth.

    • If you find floss too hard to work with you, try dental picks, pre-threaded flossers, tiny brushes that reach between teeth, a water flosser, or even a wooden or silicone plaque remover.

  • Brush. It’s the habit that gets you to clean teeth. This means everyone should brush at least twice a day and after meals. Not only can this help fight cavities, but it can also help prevent gum disease. Here are some tips from the American Dental Association:

    • Brush your teeth twice a day. Set a timer for two minutes and do it right!

    • Use the right gear. Fluoride toothpaste and a soft-bristled toothbrush are the right equipment for clean teeth. An electric or battery-operated toothbrush can reduce plaque and do more than manual brushing.

    • Practice good technique. Hold your toothbrush at a slight angle — aiming the bristles toward the area where your tooth meets your gum. Gently brush with short back-and-forth motions. Remember to get every tooth – and don’t forget your tongue!

    • Spit out excess toothpaste but don’t rinse with water. If you want to rinse, see below!

  • Rinse… with mouthwash. Though you may be tempted, don’t rinse your mouth out with water – that will just wash away all the fluoride you applied while brushing with toothpaste. If you want to rinse after brushing, using mouthwash containing fluoride to promote oral health is the right move.

  • Keep it clean. Always rinse your toothbrush with water after brushing and let it air dry. Don't regularly cover toothbrushes or store them in closed containers, which can encourage the growth of bacteria, mold and yeast.

  • Out with the old. If your toothbrush is more than four months old or if the bristles are starting to look a little worn out, get a new one. Your teeth will thank you.

  • Good Nutrition. Of course, brushing and flossing your teeth is only a part of a complete dental care routine. You should also make sure to eat a balanced diet that limits sugary beverages and snacks.

Healthy habits at home -- combined with regular dental care -- will pave the way for a lifetime of good oral health, and thus overall wellness. Spread the word!