At Waterloo Emergency Dental Clinic, your oral health is important to us. We are here to help you with any dental concerns you may be experiencing. We hope that we can give you a few simple steps that will help you improve your oral hygiene and maybe prevent some unnecessary dental emergencies. These are simple steps that anyone can follow.
Step 1: BRUSH YOUR TEETH
Brushing your teeth is the most important step and should be done daily. The American Dental Association recommends that everyone should brush at least two times a day for a minimum of 2 minutes each time. We recommend using a soft toothbrush with a small head. It’s important to be mindful of your technique as well:
- Place your toothbrush at about 45-degree angle to the gums
- Use gentle short strokes (DON’T SCRUB!)
- Brush all surfaces: outer, inner, and chewing surfaces.
- Brush for 2 minutes
If you preferer to use an electric toothbrush your technique will vary. Make sure you follow the manufacture’s recommendations and always discuss it with your dental hygienist or dentist.
STEP 2: FLOSS DAILY
Never skip flossing. Flossing helps to prevent tooth decay (especially between our teeth) and helps to maintain the health of our gums which are both important to overall oral health. Proper technique is also very important when flossing. Make sure that the floss tightly hugs your tooth and gently slide it beneath the gum line as well. Also, always remember to floss the backside of your last tooth in each corner of the mouth. You should floss a minimum of once per day and it’s best to do so before brushing. Remember the following:
- Use a piece of floss that is approximately 18 inches in length
- Gently slide the floss between the teeth towards the gumline (avid snapping the floss through)
- Hug each tooth and slide the floss beneath the gumline
- Move the floss up and down several times to remove debris
- Use a clean section of floss when moving from tooth to tooth
A quick flossing demonstrations can be found at https://www.colgateprofessional.com/education/patient-education/video-library/daily-flossing-technique
STEP 3: CLEAN YOUR TONGUE
Don’t forget about your tongue. Bacteria not only builds up on your teeth. Bacteria and other particles can build up on your tongue as well. This can cause bad breath (halitosis) and discolouration on our tongue. There are two main options for cleaning your tongue: brushing and scraping. Make sure you clean the entire top surface of the tongue and rinse your mouth after. Also, do not scrub as this can irritate the tongue.
Step 4: USE MOUTHWASH
Mouthwash can be very helpful. It is not a substitute for proper brushing and flossing, but it can aid the health of our teeth and our gums. Therapeutic mouth rinses can help to reduce plaque, tooth decay, inflammation of gums, and bad breath. We know that there is lots of options out there, and we would be happy to give you a more specific recommendation based on your needs. For now, to make it easier, we suggest looking for an alcohol-free rinse that has the American Dental Association (ADA) Seal of acceptance and follow its use instructions.
Step 5: AVOID SUGARY AND ACIDIC FOODS AND DRINKS
Avoid foods and beverages that are high in sugar. A well-balanced diet is necessary for good health and wellness. Proper nutrition is not only a vital part of overall health, but it is also critical in maintaining good oral health. A diet high in sugar and acidic foods and beverages contributes to tooth decay (cavities). Some tips to keep in mind:
- Drink lots of water
- Limit snacking
- Avoid drinking pop and juice
Step 6: REGULAR DENTAL HEALTH VISITS
Seeing your dentist regularly can help to prevent and treat concerns before they become emergencies. Your everyday dental hygiene routine should be complemented with a professional examination and cleaning. At Waterloo Emergency Dental Clinic, we will be happy to assess your oral health and help you achieve and maintain a beautiful and healthy smile.
If you have any questions or simply need a dentist, contact Waterloo Emergency Dental Clinic today.
DISCLAIMER: The advice offered is intended to be informational only and generic in nature. It is no way to offer a definitive diagnosis or specific treatment recommendations for your particular situation. Any advice provided is no substitute for proper evaluation and care by a qualified dentist.