Here at Admiral House, we are proud of the thorough, quality care we provide to our patients. We recommend that you come to see us every six months, or more often if we need to keep an eye on a concerning oral health issue. The reason we recommend bi-annual visits is so we can catch small issues before they become big problems.
During your check-ups, we check your teeth, gums, tongue, screen for oral cancer, and take X-rays if needed. Our dentists and hygienists ask you about your teeth and whether you have concerns that we can investigate and solve for you. Your check-ups are an important part of preventative care.
We recommend that you brush your teeth at least two times a day with fluoride toothpaste. Brushing your teeth twice daily reduces your risk of cavities, gingivitis, and gum disease which can delay or offset future dental treatments. Take your time brushing so you can get into each nook and cranny of your teeth. Brushing takes at least two minutes if you are cleaning your teeth correctly.
When you brush, use a soft-bristled toothbrush and brush in a circular motion while purposefully moving back and forth across each tooth. Once you are done brushing, rinse and store your toothbrush upright so it can air-dry before you use it again. Replace your toothbrush when the bristles start to show wear or you have had your toothbrush for three months.
You should floss at least once a day. Flossing gives you a way to clean between the teeth. You may avoid flossing if it is uncomfortable or makes your gums bleed, but do not give up! Once you start flossing consistently, it becomes faster and does not cause tenderness and bleeding. If you do a good job, it does not matter if you floss before or after brushing.
Use about 18 inches of dental floss and use fresh floss in each space between your teeth. To floss properly, wind the bulk of your floss around the middle finger on one hand and use your thumbs and forefingers to guide it between your teeth (even the farthest molars that have a tooth on one side and gums on the other). Use a back and forth rubbing motion to unblock debris from between your teeth. At the gum line, curve the floss in a C shape and massage it into your gums. Ball up the floss and throw it away after each use.
When flossing is not ideal, interdental brushing gives you a practical alternative to ensure the space between your teeth gets cleaned out to remove plaque and debris. Interdental brushes have a small head with bristles attached to a wire. These brushes come in different sizes; the right size fits between your teeth without force. Depending on the space between your teeth, you may need different sizes for different areas of your mouth.
To use, insert the brush gently between your teeth in a back and forth motion. Once you have cleaned between all of your teeth, rinse the interdental brush like a normal toothbrush and reuse it again and again.
Even if you brush and floss diligently, we recommend that you add tongue cleaning to your oral hygiene routine every time you brush. Your tongue holds on to a lot of food and bacteria that coat your tongue in a mucus-like substance. To get rid of this film, there are two ways to clean your tongue:
- Use your toothbrush. This is the easiest way to clean your tongue without having to purchase an additional device. Put a dab of toothpaste on your brush and use gentle but firm pressure on your tongue. Work from the back of your tongue to the front in a back and forth motion.
- Use a tongue scraper. Tongue scrapers are made of flexible plastic, stainless steel, and other materials that peel the debris and film coating from your tongue. Start at the back of your tongue and pull the scraper forward to the front. Repeat this motion multiple times at different angles to remove as much debris as possible.
For both methods, when you are finished, rinse your mouth with water and clean the toothbrush/scraper with water as well.