Healthy mouths start at home. You should brush your teeth twice daily for two minutes each time. You may use either a manual or electric toothbrush, although Dr. Bridges or Dr. Buckner may recommend an electric toothbrush with a timer to ensure you are brushing long enough or not so hard that you are damaging your gums. Many electric toothbrushes have indicators to encourage proper brushing techniques and the proper amount of brushing time. Be sure to always use a fluoride toothpaste with the American Dental Association (ADA) seal of approval.
In addition to good brushing, be sure to floss at least once daily to help fight decay and gum disease. Flossing reaches a good portion of your teeth that brushing doesn’t, including the interproximal areas that cavities occur most often.
Like flossing, mouthwash that is swished vigorously can also help reach parts of your mouth that otherwise go on unreached with brushing alone. Dr. Bridges or Dr. Buckner may recommend a particular mouthwash to fight a specific problem you are experiencing, and sometimes medicated mouthwashes may be prescribed for certain problems.
Finally, your dietary habits also play an important role in your oral health. Frequently eating foods that are highly acidic, sugary or sticky can all cause stress on teeth and eventually lead to decay. Avoid problem-causing foods when possible, and try to brush after eating them if possible.