To keep your teeth and gums healthy, you need to brush at least twice a day, preferably after breakfast and before bed. You also must floss your teeth at least once a day (before bed). Twice a day use use of a tongue scraper and mouthwash is also beneficial.
- Brushing removes the food and bacteria from the top and side surfaces of your teeth and gums. This should be done 30-60 minutes after eating. If you have been eating or drinking items which are very acidic (fruits, juices, pop, etc.), drink some water and then wait 30-60 minutes before brushing. This will give the acids in your mouth a chance to be diluted and minimize damage to your teeth when brushing.
- Flossing gets to the surfaces of your teeth and gums where your toothbrush cannot reach. It is very common to find decay on children and adults between the teeth, and it is also the most common site for gum disease. Flossing should be done every night after your last meal of the day. For added effect, you can also floss after every meal. If you have trouble flossing, please let us know at your next cleaning, as there are many products that can make flossing easier.
- Mouthwashes: The best over-the-counter mouthwash is Listerine, which has a lasting effect of up to 12 hours. Using Listerine twice a day will help kill off bacteria that cause gum disease and cavities. The less bacteria in your mouth, the more effective brushing and flossing will be.
- Tongue scrapers: Some people have a tongue with a lot of nooks and crannies in it, and those spaces can harbor bacteria. If your tongue is not a nice even pink color, you may benefit from using a tongue scraper. These are used to gently scrape the surface of the tongue, removing bacteria and food products. As the majority of bacteria in your mouth is found on the tongue, this will have a large impact on reducing the overall amount of bacteria in your mouth.