Maintain Your Healthiest Smile with At-Home Care

July 12, 2017 in General dentistry by mccarl_dental

You know that feeling when you leave the McCarl Dental Group office after your dental checkup and teeth cleaning appointment? You don’t want to eat or drink because you know you’ll ruin your perfectly clean, sparkly teeth. Many of our patients ask us how they can keep their teeth squeaky clean at home, and there’s really only one way – take the time to thoroughly clean every surface of every tooth. Learn more about how to improve your oral hygiene habits to achieve and maintain your healthiest smile by reading this post, watching this great video with Dr. Jay McCarl, or by giving our Greenbelt or Millersville, Maryland dental office a call to schedule a checkup.

I Read Online You Don’t Have to Floss Anymore – Is that True?

Don’t believe everything you read online! We talked more about how essential flossing is and directly addressed the source of some of these rumors in a previous blog, but suffice it to say, we still believe firmly in the necessity of daily flossing. This is one of the habits many of our patients struggle to maintain. In most cases, people will floss for a week or two after they visit our office for a checkup and the week or two before their next visit. However, daily flossing is the best way to the clean the surfaces between your teeth. Plaque builds up daily on these surfaces, and some studies show that calcification of plaque occurs in as little as 12 hours. You may not be aware that once plaque solidifies into calculus, or tartar as it’s often called, this hard substance cannot be removed at home. You’ll need help from one of our hygienists. Flossing every single day is the best way to prevent this buildup between teeth from damaging your smile.

Are Mechanical or Regular Toothbrushes Better?

They both serve the same function, and both types of toothbrush can work equally well. The thing that improves the efficacy of mechanical brushes is that most of them have a timer setting to keep patients brushing at least two minutes at a time, and they remove more plaque with less effort from the patient. We also see less gum recession in our dental patients who use electric toothbrushes. People who use electric toothbrushes tend to brush their teeth and gums more gently. If you decide you want to invest in an electric toothbrush, McCarl Dental Group recommends the Oral B Braun or Phillips Sonicare brands for best results.

What’s the Best Toothpaste?

There really isn’t much difference in quality these days. For those patients who struggle with frequent decay, we may recommend a product that has higher fluoride levels, but in most cases, it’s the motion of the toothbrush that frees the bacteria and plaque from the surfaces of teeth. That’s why it’s so important to ensure you brush the front, back, and biting surfaces of every tooth, and that you brush twice each day for a total of at least two minutes. Many of our patients use a toothpaste that produces a lot of foam, and then, they quit brushing once their mouth feels full. We recommend using less toothpaste and brushing for longer to achieve the best results from your daily brushing. Please don’t hesitate to ask for tips or advice at your next appointment, or check out our home oral health care tips.