A beautiful, healthy smile that lasts a lifetime is our ultimate goal when treating patients. Your personal home care plays an important role in achieving that goal. Your personal home care starts 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.
Tooth brushing – Brush your teeth at least twice a day (especially before going to bed at night) with an ADA approved soft bristle brush and toothpaste.
Place the brush at a 45 degree angle to the gums and gently brush using a small, circular pressing motion, ensuring that you always feel the bristles in between the teeth.
Brush the outer, inner, and biting surfaces of each tooth.
Use the tip of the brush to clean the inside of the front teeth.
Brush your tongue to remove bacteria and freshen your breath.
We also recommend electric and sonic toothbrushes. They are easy to use and can remove plaque efficiently. Dr. Bridges and his hygienists will evaluate your needs and recommend the toothbrush that would be most appropriate for your individual needs.
Flossing – Daily flossing is the best way to clean between the teeth and under the gumline. Flossing not only helps clean these spaces, it disrupts plaque colonies from building up, preventing damage to the gums, teeth, and bone.
Take 12-16 inches (30-40cm) of dental floss and wrap it around your middle fingers, leaving about 2 inches (5cm) of floss between the hands.
Using your thumbs and forefingers to guide the floss, gently insert the floss between teeth using a rubbing motion.
Curve the floss, gently moving the floss up and down, cleaning the side of each tooth.
Floss holders are recommended if you have difficulty using conventional floss.
Rinsing – 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, we recommend Closys II, available at Walgreen's and other drugstores. Use other dental aids as recommended by Dr. Bridges or his hygienists: Interdental brushes, rubber tip stimulators, tongue cleaners, irrigation devices, fluoride, medicated rinses, etc., can all play a role in good dental home care.