Dental care: how to take care of teeth and gums at home
Maintaining healthy teeth and gums is a lifetime job. Meaning, even if you have a perfectly chiseled jawline, it is still crucial to take the right steps daily to take care of your teeth and gums.
Good dental health is maintained through the use of suitable oral care products coupled with mindful daily habits. This raises one very important question:
Why is it Important to Take Care of your Teeth?
Plaque and tartar are the primary concerns associated with bad oral care, the latter is a consequence of the former and the former is caused by a sticky combination of food and bacteria.
That said, the real concern here is plaque begins to build up around teeth and gums just minutes after eating. If you don't clean your teeth daily, you risk tooth decay, gum disease, oral infections, swollen gums, and bad breath. Bad oral care will lead to gingivitis, periodontitis, cavities, abscesses, or worse conditions such as heart disease and preterm labor.
What is the Best Way to take Care of Teeth and Gums?
Brush your teeth properly
Teeth brushing is an act that we seldom pay attention to. Most of us do it automatically, or without paying full attention to the task at hand. Think about it, is there a neglected region in your mouth? Have you noticed plaque or tartar forming despite daily brushing?
Then the problem could be that you simply don't know how to brush it! Sounds silly, we know, but compare dental routine advised by dentists to what you do after every meal below.
How to brush your teeth according to dentists
Before you begin brushing, make sure that you replace your toothbrush every 3 months or when the bristles get frayed.
Dental instructions for cleaning teeth
- Lubricate your brush with a small amount of water.
- Use a pea-sized amount of fluoride toothpaste.
- Aim your brush at a 45-degree angle towards the gum line.
- Brush your front teeth using gentle, short circular strokes.
- Brush the front, back, and the surface of molars, flip the brush upside down and repeat.
- Prevent bacteria build-up by brushing your tongue
- Spit out the remnants.
This whole process should take at least 2 minutes. Also, gentle pressure should be used to avoid injuring your gums or wearing away its top layer.
Take your time to brush all areas of your mouth, focus on the problem areas and don't neglect your tongue. For better results we encourage the use of an electric toothbrush and daily water flossing. Electric toothbrushes help you avoid using too much force on your gums, resulting in more efficiency than manual toothbrushes.
Is Brushing with an Electric Toothbrush Better?
Studies from the American Dental Association revealed that both manual and electric toothbrushes have their benefits, however, electric toothbrushes, thanks to their vibrating or rotating bristles, better prevent plaque buildup. Electric toothbrushes make oral care easier for people living with arthritis, developmental disabilities, and carpal tunnel.
How to use an electric toothbrush
- Wet your toothbrush with a little water, then add a pea-sized amount of fluoride toothpaste on top.
- Hold the electric toothbrush at 45 degrees towards your gum line
- Focus on one tooth at a time, brushing the back, front, and surface.
- Move your electric toothbrush slowly across the tongue surface.
- Spit out toothpaste remnants, then rinse your mouth.
Daily habits to take care of teeth and gums at home
Once you have perfected brushing, the next step is to establish a routine or daily oral health habits, we recommend:
- Brush at least twice a day, that is, once in the morning and before you go to bed.
- Use fluoride toothpaste (fluoride forms a protective barrier around teeth and fights decay-causing germs).
- Flossing is just as important as brushing as it helps lower inflammation, reduces plaque, and stimulates gums.
- Drink plenty of water (helps to remove sticky acidic foods from the mouth)
Is it Better to Brush your Teeth Without Toothpaste?
The purpose of toothpaste is to provide fluoride and loosen plaque, meaning, it’s always best to brush using oral paste. However, when you don't have access to toothpaste there is no harm brushing your teeth using nothing but water and a quality toothbrush.
Tthere are natural toothpaste substitutes such as:
In oral health, the only ingredient baking soda lacks is fluoride. That doesn't mean that it won't remove stains and prevent plaque. Researchers have found that applying a pinch of baking soda to toothpaste brightens your teeth and keeps them protected. Just make sure that you don't swallow the baking soda remnants as that will lead to stomach problems.
Activated charcoal should only be used when you are truly desperate. The reason being it is abrasive which means overuse will wear down your teeth. On top of that, just like baking soda, activated charcoal lacks fluoride meaning it won't offer much protection from plaque.
How Electric Toothbrushes Prevent Cavities
Oral cavities/decay occur in three ways the first being when plaque breaks through your enamel. The second, in cracks that occur in hard to reach areas. And lastly, along the gum line caused by gum recession.
What makes electric toothbrushes better at solving this trio of problems is:
- Electric toothbrushes, pulsate, rotate, and oscillate meaning no area in your mouth stays neglected.
- If you apply too much pressure, some electric brushes can turn themselves off to prevent gum recession.
- A smart timer tells you when to stop brushing.
Check out our range of Electric Toothbrushes.
Electric brush ad
Part 2, How to Take Care of Teeth and Gums at Home: Denture care, Braces, and Spacers
Denture care is very easy, all you have to do is clean your dentures using water, a denture brush and mild soap. The idea is to clean all surfaces and remove debris and afterwards store your dentures in a container of clean water.
Can people with braces use an electric toothbrush?
Electric toothbrushes reach the in between areas of your teeth, the backs, fronts, and hard to reach areas. This means by applying the right pressure and angling your electric toothbrush right, you will clean braces better than when using manual toothbrushes.
Researchers have found that people who use manual brushes on average, brush for shorter periods. Electric toothbrushes are more convenient. Also, electric brushes have been found to work better on lingual, ceramic, and metal braces.
The point is, there are more advantages in using electric toothbrushes if you have braces.
How to brush teeth with braces
The process of brushing teeth with braces is very similar to brushing normal teeth, but there are a few extra steps:
- Rubber bands and other removable should be detached before brushing.
- Wires should be brushed to remove food particles and prevent plaque.
- Spend at least two minutes brushing.
- Brush your tongue gently to prevent bad breath and plaque.
If you have spacers in your teeth, avoid up and down strokes, instead, use back and forth movement to avoid interfering with spacers.
How to Take Care of Teeth and Gums after Teeth Removal
Whether you are recovering from injury or just been through tooth extraction, there are a few precautions you should be aware of:
- After extraction, don't brush or rinse for at least 24 hours (avoid dislodging blood clot)
- Brush with care not allowing brush contact with the extraction site.
- Avoid straw use and forceful spitting.
- Avoid smoking for a week to encourage healthy blood flow.
Electric toothbrush after wisdom teeth removal: safe or dangerous?
Dr. John Dewolf says, avoid disturbing the area of tooth extraction for 24 hours. Additionally, gentle cleaning should be practiced for a couple more days using a brush with gentle bristles.
The guiding principle here is, as long as you don't experience increased pain, bleeding, or damage, then you can continue using the brush.
End result being electric brushes are safe to use after wisdom tooth extraction.
Is an Electric Toothbrush Good for Sensitive Teeth and Gums?
If your gums or teeth are sensitive, dentists recommend soft-bristled manual brushes coupled with floss, and oral irrigators to help firm gums. Once your gums are firm enough, you can safely switch to electric brushes.
If you have sensitive teeth or gums, are wearing braces or spacers, or had your teeth extracted, use sensitive mode and gentle pressure when using an electric toothbrush.
How to take care of teeth and gums at home? This is a question you should be asking every day because it helps you to find ways to better improve your oral health. Make your oral health routine easier by investing in a quality electric toothbrush today!
What methods do you use to take care of teeth and gums? Tell us in the comment section, and don't forget to subscribe to get all the latest dental health tips and guides daily!