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Simple Regimen for Better Oral Health

Proper oral hygiene starts with a twice-per-day regimen of brushing and flossing. In addition to this practice, using a high-quality oral rinse is recommended, and you should also see your La Jolla dentist or periodontist at least twice each year.

Procedure for Brushing and Flossing

It is recommended that you brush your teeth in the morning just before or just after you eat. Brush again before retiring for the night. The American Dental Association suggests asking your dentist about the proper brush hardness that is best for your teeth and gums.

The best way to brush is to hold the bristles rather firmly against the teeth and stroke from the gums upward on the lower teeth, and stroke downward on the upper teeth. The brush should be held at a 45° angle from the tooth surface. Follow these instructions for both the outside and inside edges of the teeth.

Flossing helps to loosen and remove bacteria that lives on small bits of tartar between the teeth. About 18 inches of floss should be used. Wind most of the floss around the middle finger of one hand and wind a small amount around the middle finger of the other hand. Floss with short strokes between the teeth, creating a slight c-shaped curve as you reach the gum line. As you proceed, unwind the floss from one hand and wind it onto the other. This keeps fresh, unmangled floss in constant contact with your teeth and gum.

Preventing Tooth Stains

Remember to brush your teeth after consuming food or drink that can stain the enamel. Teeth whitening products generally work quite well, but it is important to follow the instructions provided to the letter. Consuming a healthy diet also helps to reduce the amount of staining experienced on the surface of your teeth. Certain foods such as cheese, milk, and yogurt are quite efficient in helping remove sugars from the inside of your mouth as well as reducing the amount of plaque buildup.

If you have a health condition that makes brushing or flossing difficult or would like information about oral care specific to your individual needs, make an appointment with a local dentist. They will be able to provide a customized assessment and can also provide you with tips for how to keep up with a daily oral care regimen.


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