Oral Hygiene – Folsom, CA
Esthetic Reflections in Dentistry provides general dentistry services, which means our role is to care for your teeth. But excellent dental hygiene starts with you. You’re the one that takes care of your teeth, mouth, and gums every day, and the more you focus on good oral hygiene, the longer you will be able to enjoy your smile.
Why is Oral Hygiene So Important?
No one wants cavities. But cavities are only one issue that may arise if you have poor oral hygiene. The greatest risk to your teeth actually comes from gum disease, also known as periodontal disease. More adults over the age of 35 lose their teeth from gum disease than the number that lose their teeth from cavities, and as many as 75% of adults will experience gum disease at some point in their life.
Studies have also shown that those that care for their mouth are less likely to suffer from serious illness, because poor oral health can weaken your immune system and cause you to swallow harmful bacteria. Oral hygiene is something that you have in your control that takes little time, causing diseases that are easily preventable. It’s never too late to start taking care of your teeth, and now is a great time to start.
How to Brush Your Teeth Properly
There is more to brushing your teeth than many people think. If you have any questions, or there is pain that is preventing you from brushing the right way, you are welcome to call us at 916-983-6051 for a checkup.
We at Esthetic Reflections in Dentistry in Folsom generally recommend brushes with soft to medium bristles. Electric toothbrushes are also highly recommended. Keep in mind, however, that toothbrushes like Sonicare are not a shortcut – you should still brush the same way for the same amount of time, you simply get a better clean.
Tilt the brush to a 45 degree angle until the point where your teeth meet your gums. Put some pressure on the brush, but not so much that it causes any pain, and start moving the brush in circles over the surfaces of your teeth. Finish all of the outside of your teeth before repeating the task on the inside of your teeth. You should also brush across the top of your teeth as well in a back and forth motion.
Throughout the process, consider brushing your gums gently as well to rub off any caked on germs.
Once you’re done brushing, make sure you rinse your mouth to remove any plaque that may still be stuck to your teeth. Rinsing with a mouthwash can also be effective.
How to Floss Your Teeth
Yes, flossing is important. One of the main reasons that people dislike flossing is because it can be uncomfortable, and it may even cause your gums to bleed (especially if there are early signs of gum disease). But there is good news – flossing does such an amazing job of strengthening your gums, that flossing becomes much less uncomfortable over time. If you’re experiencing severe pain, make sure you call us to check your teeth.
In order to floss effectively, you first take 18 inches (1.5 feet) of floss and wrap the majority of it around your middle finger. Take the remaining small amount of floss and wrap it around your other middle finger, holding the floss apart. It’s best to start loose so that it is not uncomfortable on your fingers.
When you’re ready, it helps to start by cleaning the upper teeth first. Tighten the floss between your thumbs and for fingers and place it between your teeth. You may have to give it a slight tug upwards if your teeth are close together to make sure it reaches the gum. You then:
- Rub the floss back and forth against the gum.
- Wrap it around one side of the teeth slightly (a “c” shape) and slide it again.
- Wrap it around the other tooth and slide it back and forth again.
Slide it out to avoid pulling off any crowns you may have. Great place to floss is in the shower!
You then repeat this with each tooth, clearing out plaque from both teeth and the gums. Once you’ve finished all of the upper teeth, you can then move down to the lower teeth and continue.
After one or two teeth, you’re going to find that your floss is slightly dirty. Flip a cleaner section of floss off of your middle finger so that you’re keeping the floss fresh. Rinse when you’re done to remove any loosened plaque.
As mentioned, if this is the first time you’ve been flossing, you may find that your gums bleed as old plaque is removed. You may also notice a bit of pain, though it should not be too severe. These should stop as you floss daily. We recommend you floss once per day.
What About Oral Hygiene Products?
There are many great oral hygiene products available that can help you care for your teeth and gums. Some of the ones you can consider include:
- Electric Toothbrushes – Electric toothbrushes, especially the “sonic” ones, do appear to provide a better clean. We have the latest Sonicare toothbrushes available for purchase at our office, and we can help you determine which one is best for you.
- thoroughly as normal, but they are a great help for those caring for their teeth.
- Water Flosses – Also known as “oral irrigators,” water flosses are not an alternative to floss, but they are useful for clearing out your teeth when you feel there is food stuck in them. They are especially helpful for those with braces.
- Mouthwash – Mouthwash is also not an alternative to brushing and flossing. It does not get in between teeth or clean the way it is advertised on TV. But it can help prevent gum disease and tooth decay when used in conjunction with other treatments.
- Fluoride Toothpaste – Similarly, fluoride based toothpastes can help reduce tooth decay by 40%, and improve oral health compared to lesser toothpastes and some “natural” toothpastes.
There are sometimes other products that are recommended for those with specific dental issues, so don’t be afraid to ask us if there is something you’d like to learn more about.
Professional Dental Cleaning in Folsom, CA
While all of these tips will help you with your oral hygiene, there are tools that dentists have that we can use to make sure we get every single crevice to prevent gum disease and decay. Professional dental cleanings are an important part of good dental hygiene practices, and should be something that you prioritize as you take better care of your mouth.
If you’re looking for a Folsom dentist, please call our team today at 916-983-6051.