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What are the essentials of a good oral hygiene regimen? According to the American Dental Association (the ADA), your teeth should be brushed twice a day with a recommended toothpaste. If you visit your local grocery store or drugstore, you will find tooth paste and tooth brushes with the ADA seal of acceptance. These have been tested to help maintain healthy teeth.

Furthermore, the ADA recommends using a soft bristled toothbrush to reduce erosion on tooth enamel, and to protect your gum line. You will want to brush your teeth at a 45-degree angle to your gum line and use gentle circular motions as you brush each tooth. Be sure to brush inside, outside and the top surfaces of each tooth, especially in the hard-to-reach back of your mouth where you hard-working molars sit.

Next, you will want to pay some attention to the areas between your teeth. This is where a dental floss will come into play. You can use a string or ribbon type flosser, or even a water flosser—particularly helpful if you have braces. If using a string floss you will want to pull an 18-inch or so length of string, and rub gently between each tooth and between the tooth and gum line. The goal is to remove food particles which your toothbrush cannot reach.

Be extra gentle as you floss, so you don’t injure the sensitive gum tissue. If you have tight spaces you may need to use wax coated floss. Floss around each tooth in a C or U shape. Be meticulous around your back molars as they tend to capture much of the food particles since they do most of the heavy-duty chewing of the food you eat.

After you have removed the debris and unseen plaque around your pearly whites, you will want to rinse your mouth with an antiseptic or fluoridated mouthwash. This will remove the loosened particles as well as bacteria and help protect your teeth and gums.

If used regularly, these three steps will help you maintain a healthy mouth in between your scheduled dental visits. Be sure and call our dental office if you would like more information on how to care for your pearly whites! 925.344.5757.