Home Care

Daily home care is especially important before bedtime. We help teach our patients what is best for their particular situation. We want to help you develop a way of cleaning your teeth that it’s with the way you live your life. There are a number of effective brushing techniques. We determine which one is best for you since tooth position and gum conditions vary.

In general a toothbrush head should be small, 1" x ½" for easy access with soft nylon bristles with round ends. Some brushes are too abrasive and wear down teeth. It is more important to brush 2x a day for 3-4 minutes than 5x a day for 1 minute. We recommend brushing at work- keeping a brush at your desk. If you brush with fluoride toothpaste in the morning and before going to bed, you don't need to use toothpaste at work- you can just brush with water and rinse before heading back to your desk. If you don't have a toothbrush, rinsing with fluoridated water for 30 seconds-1 minute after lunch is also helpful. Getting the debris off teeth right away is important in stopping sugar snacks and starchy foods from turning into cavity causing sugars and acids. We will make a recommendation on which type of toothbrush, manual or ultrasonic is best for you and let you know how often they should be replaced given the condition of your mouth.

Flossing and irrigation removes plaque and debris between teeth. Dental floss comes in many forms, which all clean and remove plaque about the same. Waxed floss or ribbon floss (tape) might be easier to slide between tight teeth or tight restorations. However the unwaxed floss makes a squeaking sound to let you know your teeth are clean. We will review which floss method is best for your mouth, including floss holders, threaders and how often. There are many types of irrigators on the market. We will review which type ids best for your particular situation, including benefit, value and cost.

Recent research has shown that certain mouthwashes can kill the bacteria associated with tooth decay for a period of time. We often recommend them to prevent further infection during the period we are in the process of removing decay and restoring teeth. Chlorhexadine is highly effective against infection. When used for 2-3 weeks it can suppress bacteria for 12-26 weeks. Once daily (at bedtime) is adequate for bacterial suppression. For patients at high risk of dental caries we may prescribe a special gel or rinse for daily and routine home use.