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6 Do’s and Don’ts of At-Home Dental Care

at-home dental care routine

Boost Your Dental Care Routine and Protect Your Oral Health

Did you know that your at-home dental care routine is the foundation of your oral health? The better you care for your smile on a daily basis, the fewer oral health issues you’re likely to encounter. Not to mention you’ll also have the satisfaction of a clean bill of oral health from your dentist during your check-ups!

Here are our top 6 do’s and don’ts for our patients’ at-home dental care habits.

1. Don’t wait out a toothache or oral pain.

Do schedule an appointment as soon as possible.

Toothaches are your body’s way of saying, “Hey, we’ve got a problem in here!”

It can be tempting to just take over-the-counter pain medication, slather on some topical toothache ointment, and wait for it to go away. Sometimes this “waiting it out” method does seem to work, but it’s important to realize that this is only a temporary fix. Toothaches are always a sign of an underlying issue, most often being untreated tooth decay. The longer you wait, the more damage will be done. Take the initiative to book an appointment right away instead.

Wohlers Family Dentistry also offers help for dental emergencies.

2. Do ask your dentist about professional teeth whitening.

Don’t use DIY or trendy whitening methods.

Having a bright white smile makes you feel younger, healthier, and more confident. But think twice before you try the latest DIY whitening trend you see on social media. Many DIY methods use harsh, abrasive ingredients like baking soda, hydrogen peroxide, and even lemon juice! This can all spell disaster for your tooth enamel, leaving it weak and thin.

If you’re interested in treating yourself to a whiter smile, speak with your dentist first. Wohlers Family Dentistry offers both in-office whitening and at-home professional whitening kits. You’ll be able to whiten your smile more effectively than DIY methods and your enamel will be protected.

3. Do brush twice a day, every day.

Don’t skip your bedtime brushing.

The golden rule of dental care is to brush twice a day, every day, for two minutes each session. However, stats show that as many as half of adults only brush once per day. The skipped brushing session is often at night.

Skipping bedtime brushing is tempting, especially when it’s been a long day and you want nothing more than to just head to bed. But your bedtime brushing is actually the most important session. All of the food and bacteria in your mouth from the day will sit on your teeth for another eight hours if you don’t brush before bed.

A great tip to remember to brush twice a day is to set a reminder on your phone. You can also begin to incorporate a specific set of steps in your nightly routine to make brushing a habit, such as brushing your teeth before you take a shower or before you take out your contact lenses.

4. Don’t brush hard or use stiff-bristled toothbrushes.

Do use a soft-bristled brush and proper brushing technique.

Scrubbing harder and using a stiffer brush might help with removing a stain from a floor, but this tactic can be detrimental for our teeth. Tooth enamel may be the hardest substance in our bodies, but harsh brushing techniques and the wrong toothbrush can gradually wear away enamel and cause gums to recede.

All you need to keep your teeth clean and healthy is a soft-bristled toothbrush and a thorough but gentle approach to brushing. It’s also helpful to have a refresher on proper brushing technique. We also recommend upgrading to a powered toothbrush for an even better clean.

5. Don’t use unapproved oral care products.

Do use ADA-recommended products.

Trying out new toothpaste, mouthwash, and other oral care products can be a lot of fun, especially if you’ve been using the same brands or flavors for a while. There are more oral care brands out in the market than ever before, including many small business brands that are growing in popularity through social media.

Not all oral care products are created equal, however. We recommend that you only use products with the ADA Seal of Approval. Products with the ADA Seal of Approval have been through testing to ensure that they’re enamel-safe and effective. Most products with the Seal of Approval will have an image of the badge right on the bottle, tube, or box.

To make shopping easier, you can also visit the ADA-Approved Products page to search by product type and brand. You can also ask your dentist for advice on which products are specifically suited for your individual oral health needs.

6. Don’t wait to floss until you have food stuck.

Do floss every day before brushing.

Stats show that only about 16% of adults floss once a day as recommended by the American Dental Association. Most only floss when they have something stuck in their teeth, in which case they only floss around the specific tooth that’s bothering them.

Flossing is crucial for plaque removal and healthy gums, removing plaque and food from nooks and crannies your toothbrush bristles can’t reach. Regular flossing makes such an impact that a hygienist can easily tell whether or not you’ve been flossing during a pre-cleaning examination.

Take steps to begin flossing before brushing as a new habit. Using flossers or investing in a WaterPik can help motivate your new flossing habit.

For more tips on your at-home dental care routine, give Wohlers Family Dentistry a call.

Wohlers Family Dentistry in Marietta offers complete care for adults and kids, including preventive, restorative, and cosmetic dentistry services. If you’re eager to learn more about dental care or you’re due for a check-up and cleaning, all you need to do is give us a call! For questions or booking requests outside of business hours, feel free to fill out this online form instead.


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