What you need to know about at home oral hygiene

Tooth decay, periodontitis and alveolitis are diseases that affect almost every single adult human on this planet. The main cause of these problems is the bacteria that live on the plaque that is on your teeth, and this is due to improper oral hygiene and the lack of half year dental checkups. Somewhere around 80% of all oral hygiene problems can be prevented with proper oral hygiene.    

1. Proper tooth brushing technique

It is common for patients to try and replace proper technique with brute force, usually done with a toothbrush that should have been thrown out long ago, basically just rubbing the enamel off of the teeth. This does more harm than good, though, as this sort of behavior will damage the enamel sooner or later. It is important to use toothbrushes with soft bristles, and to brush after every meal if possible, but at the very least twice a day. When brushing, make sure that your toothbrush and your teeth meet at a 45 degree angle, and that you brush gently but firmly, moving from the gums downwards to the tips of your teeth, using small, circular movements. Clean 2-3 teeth at a time, and brush each one of them 15 times. Afterwards, rinse your mouth out and use broader sweeping movements to remove the plaque that has been broken up. The broader movements will also help you clean the sides of the teeth. You should change your brush the moment your bristles start to fray, but at the very least every three months.

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Technique is important even if you use an electric toothbrush. You need to make sure you start brushing where the teeth meet the gums, and leave your toothbrush there for a few moments. Since the pulsating, circular motions are done by the toothbrush itself, we just need to make sure to put it in the right place.

If you have recurring problems such as tooth decay, you need to seek out the opinion of a specialist. Book an appointment with one and see what s/he has to say about your technique.

2. Use dental floss

More often than not, using just a toothbrush will not bring the desired results. If the teeth touch each other for instance, they are more likely to decay, and a toothbrush will not help in resolving this issue, either. You should use dental floss at least once a day, this way you can remove plaque and bacteria from between the teeth, and you can clean the gums this way as well. You should use about 40-50 centimeters of floss at a time. It is important that you use enough floss that you do not use the same piece on more than one tooth, as that way you are only transplanting bacteria to new grounds instead of getting rid of them. Bend the floss in a C shape when it is between your teeth, and pull up, removing the plaque that has built up there. Be gentle, or you may end up damaging your gingiva.

3. Use Mouthwash

After using the techniques mentioned above, there is only one more thing that you can do to help the condition of your teeth. You should rinse your mouth with mouthwash at least twice a day, for at least 30 seconds each time, using high quality antibacterial mouthwash. You should slosh it around with the teeth together, this way splashing the hard to reach places and removing extra debris and detritus that may have gotten stuck otherwise. You should also gargle with it, this way bacteria that want to live on the roof of the mouth and the palate also die. If you use mouthwash regularly, it can help decrease the amount of bacteria you have in your mouth dramatically.

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