Home Care for a Healthy Mouth
My Gift To You
I am going to give you a gift. I am going to tell you the secret to avoiding a lot of pain, expense, and minutes of your life sitting in a dental chair you will never get back. This article is going to focus more on the actual care techniques that work. It goes without saying that even if your care technique is meticulous, you cannot eat and drink poor choices to keeping your teeth. If your diet is lousy, your health will be as well and your oral health will follow suit. Your mouth is not disconnected from the rest of your body. So, you need to avoid foods and beverages that are high in sugar, have a low PH (or are highly acidic), or overly processed and not naturally occurring. Stay away from fast food, or all the processed foods in the grocery aisles. Focus more on the stuff in the produce aisles.
It’s all about technique
This gift is information and a technique you can use that is a sure-fire way to create an oral environment that is very inhospitable to the bacteria that are seeking to destroy it. The key to home care that works is being regimented, persistent and thorough. The truth is that as we get older, we have to spend more time taking care of what we used to get by not doing as often. We need to spend more time in our mouth is what it comes down to. When we are in there our mission is to clean every square millimeter of every tooth and the gum tissue that surround each of them, free of any food debris or plaque (aka biofilm, bacteria, scuzzy coating, or the white grungy stuff.)
The best way I have found to do this is with a layered approach to care at bedtime. Use these steps in sequence each time and don’t skip or eliminate any steps. Remember- regimented, persistent, and thorough. This should not take you more than 10 or 15 minutes at the most. If you cannot devote less than 1% of your day to keeping your mouth healthy then you need to reassess how important keeping your teeth really is to you in terms of your goals for your oral health.
Step 1. Use interdental brushes and or soft picks between each side of each tooth. Below is a picture of the product I would recommend. You can also dip the brush in a mouth rinse (closys or some tooth paste and then scrub it in between your teeth. If your gums are healthy- they should NOT bleed.
Step 2. Use dental floss or floss picks and go in between each tooth but make sure you are wrapping the floss (in a c-Shape) and running up and down the side of the tooth to or slightly below the gum tissue.
Step 3. Brush your gums around each tooth in a sweeping and up and down motion with a sulcabrush. This brush is really the secret weapon to effective plaque control. It is stiff bristled and removes plaque better than any other dental tool out there.
Step 4. Use an electric or manual toothbrush to brush each surface of each tooth. Angle the bristles at a 45-degree angle to the gum tissue and focus on brushing the gums more than the teeth. You will effectively brush both if you aim at the gums. I like the rotadent electric toothbrush personally. It rotates 360 degrees and use the pointed head and a cream based toothpaste. However, sonic care and oral B higher end electric toothbrushes are very good as well, as is a manually toothbrush with good dexterity.
Step 5. Optional – Rinse with a mouth rinse for 20-30 seconds. I think Closys is one of the best on the market and around this area, can only be found at Walgreens for some reason.
Just 10-15 minutes every night
If you can commit to doing this for 10-15 minutes every night before you go to sleep along with eating a healthy diet, I can tell you your odds of keeping your teeth the rest of life are excellent. You won’t need to spend your time in a dental chair or your money in a dental office. I would follow up by saying that you should also brush your teeth after breakfast and lunch as well. Research has shown, if you can completely deplaque and clean each tooth and the surrounding gums at least once a day, you will maintain optimal oral health. Here is to your good health!
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Dr. Jonathan Bechtel and our Lansing, Michigan dental team are committed to providing exceptional care and empowering our patients with information about their dental health. If you have any questions about our dental services or would like to schedule an appointment, we invite you to give us a call at 517-882-7132. The outstanding experience of our Dentist Dr. Bechtel, and the skills of our staff have helped us in successfully treating oral problems in our patients who visit us from different parts of Lansing, Holt, Okemos, and Mason Michigan.