At your first appointment with the dental experts, Dr. Kalantari and Dr. Arcila of Smiles on Bristol Santa Ana Dentistry, you will be instructed in proper at-home dental routines to ensure you maintain healthy teeth and gums between dental visits.
The most important procedures to maintain at-home are brushing at least twice a day and flossing at least once a day. Brushing is most effective when done right before going to bed so the mouth has limited amounts of bacteria overnight. Many people have decreased saliva production while they sleep which means their mouths are less protected from tooth decay. The second brushing can be done right after waking up in the morning or after the first meal of the day. Brushing after the first meal will provide greater daily protection as it will clean out sugar and bacteria immediately after eating, but when that is not possible, brushing first thing is effective as well.
Flossing can be done whenever is most convenient for the patient. Doing it before bed may have the same increased benefits as brushing before bed. When flossing, patients should slide the floss along the sides of one tooth before bringing it up the side of the adjacent tooth. This will ensure patients are getting below the gum and cleaning out any hiding bacteria. Patients can also opt for an oral irrigator that uses pulses of water to clean out bacteria and food from between the teeth. Many studies have been done on oral irrigators and they have been shown to be gentler for sensitive patients while at the same time remaining as effective or more than regular string floss.
Patients wanting further protection can brush their tongues to remove bacteria build up and can use either fluoridated or fluoride-free mouthwash to boost tooth restoration and kill bacteria. Drinking water throughout the day will also help saliva production and will help clear out lingering sugars.