Dental appointments are necessary to fix oral health problems and maintain a healthy mouth, but the crux of oral health takes place in the home. Our dentists advocate a holistic approach to oral health, so we advocate a solid home care routine between visits to our dental office. According to our South Charlotte dentists, a daily home care routine and just two professional cleanings each year is enough to drastically cut your risk of gum disease.
Brushing your teeth is the most common oral hygiene aid and it should be the foundation of every oral homecare routine. The efficiency of tooth brushing depends on the type of toothbrush used. Electric toothbrushes tend to remove food and plaque from teeth and gums better than manual toothbrushes. Manual tooth-brushing can be as effective as brushing your teeth with an electronic toothbrush, but most people fail to put in the proper amount of effort.
Following tooth brushing, mouthwash is the second most common oral hygiene aid. Most dental offices find that commercial mouthwashes with alcohol as the active ingredient are purely cosmetic. However, specially formulated mouthwashes with active ingredients like peroxide are effective at removing harmful bacteria.
Manual flossing is a proven inter-dental and subgingival cleaner, but so many people still fail to make flossing a daily habit. Less than 50% of Americans floss on a daily basis. Our dentists recommend using floss holders to make manual flossing an easier part of your oral home care routine.
Oral irrigators, commonly known as waterpiks, are growing in popularity. Oral irrigators spray a small stream of water between the teeth and below the gum line to remove plaque, food particles and bacteria. Oral irrigators are growing in popularity because they are easier to use than floss and they have been scientifically proven to reduce the risk of periodontal disease. However, oral irrigation is no substitute for brushing or flossing and should be used in combination with these other oral hygiene aids. Additionally, oral irrigation is no substitute for annual or bi-annual dental appointments.