At-Home Care: Maintaining Your Smile
Good habits and a proper oral hygiene routine are essential to keeping your teeth at their healthiest. With all the different products and advice out there, though, it can be tough to figure out what’s best for your smile.
In this video, dental hygienists Janeime and Lindsey discuss how to properly care for your teeth between dental visits.
Janeime: Good afternoon everyone, my name is Janeime and this is Lindsey and we’re your hygienists here at Dentistry at East Piedmont. So good to see you guys out there. We wanted to talk to you a little bit about some of your oral health routines for your everyday dental care.
The Basics: Brushing and Flossing
J: How many times should you brush and floss, Lindsey?
Lindsey: So a minimum of two times brushing and a minimum of one time flossing, but if you’re more prone to cavities or gum infections then we’re probably going to ask you to step that number up a little bit more.
Types of Toothbrushes
J: So a lot of patients ask ‘what kind of toothbrush should I use?’ What do you think?
L: My favorite on the market right now is Sonicare. I have used other ones but I like the electric toothbrush and I like the Sonicare brand. How about you, Janeime?
J: I also like the Sonicare, it is a fantastic toothbrush and it does a lot of the work for you. It works in a sweeping motion and all you have to do is use it for the whole time 2-minute session.
Types of Floss
J: Now what are some types of floss that you should use?
L: My preference is Glide floss. Even though it’s a little bit more expensive, I tend not to break it as much, so I like the Oral-B Glide floss.
J: Glide floss is good, but I will tell you a secret: use whatever you can get in between your teeth. If it feels good to you when you’re using it, continue with that brand.
J: Now Lindsey, do you use a mouthwash every day?
L: I actually do not use a mouthwash every day. I use it every once in a while, but it’s not in my daily routine.
J: But if you were going to use mouthwash, what do you use?
L: I like the Listerine Zero mouthwash- it has no alcohol, it doesn’t have that burning sensation but it still has an antibacterial effect. One of the other mouthwashes I do recommend sometimes if you tend to get cavities often, I like the ACT mouthwash at night. That one has a higher uptake fluoride and it helps to harden the enamel so you’re less prone to cavities.
J: Now, do you use anything else to floss, like maybe a Waterpik? I see a lot of people on TV talking about a Waterpik.
L: They are good in some instances, in conjunction with flossing. If you have bridges or braces, those help to get some of the food and debris off a little bit easier and a little tip is sometimes you can take it in the shower with you so it doesn’t get your mirror all wet.
J: Oh yes, that’s a perfect use for it.
J: Alright, now the biggest issue is snacks. We all like to snack in here. Should we be eating a lot of sugary drinks?
L: So that’s a great question, Janeime. So sugary drinks we see the most people getting cavities from the frequency of drinks and the sugars in the drinks.
J: Especially in the summertime, you know when you have a lot of athletics going on and you’re outside in the hot sun and you and your teammates are drinking Gatorade. Maybe you can substitute regular Gatorade or Powerade for Gatorade or Powerade lite that has less sugar and you still get the electrolytes so we don’t pass out, we don’t want anyone to pass out.
J: What about drinking water?
L: Drinking water is extremely important for your overall health and for your dental health, too. It washes off all the sugary foods or drinks that you might be eating and it keeps you hydrated, keeps your tissue nice and healthy in your mouth and your gums.
J: Well, I certainly agree with that. I like to drink a lot of water but does it make a difference if I drink bottled water or should I drink tap water for fluoride, what do you think about that?
L: So that’s an excellent question, Janeime. Fluoride is really important to have in our water. So most of the bottled waters that we have nowadays do not have fluoride in it so your teeth aren’t getting that natural fluoride that we need. Fluoride is a naturally occurring element, it helps strengthen our teeth and makes them healthy. It’s fine to use the water out of the refrigerator, that does not eliminate the fluoride in the water. So yes, it is important to have natural tap water.
J: Good point. So I’m not gonna die if I don’t have my special filtered, triple-filtered water, I can drink regular water.
Smoking & Vaping
J: Alright, now for all of our smokers out there, we’d love for you to quit. But generally, as a rule, smoking tends to dry out your mouth so one of the things that I would suggest that you do even if you use dip or if you actually smoke or vape, because vape is a new thing out here, make sure you are using non-alcohol-based products. So that means no regular Listerine for you because all kinds of smoking constricts blood vessels in your mouth and so that will make everything a little bit drier.
J: You got any suggestions for those risky teens who may have some tongue piercings or something?
L: So if you have any kind of tongue piercing, it’s really important to stay on top of your six-month hygiene visits so we can check. Sometimes those heavy metals can knock up against the teeth and cause little fractures of the teeth so we just need to make sure that the dentist is checking them.
J: Well that’s it for now. I hope you guys have learned some good tidbits and we’ll talk to you guys later, bye bye!
L: See ya in six months!