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At Home Dental Hygiene

By: Garry Crystal - Updated: 24 Oct 2010 | comments*Discuss
At Home Dental Hygiene

To keep teeth healthy strong and free from infection it is vital that some form of at home dental hygiene is practiced daily. With busy lives many people place dental hygiene at the bottom of the list, which will only guarantee more dental visits in the long run. An at home dental hygiene routine need only take around 10 to 15 minutes per day, and by sticking to a short, daily routine you will prevent tooth decay and infection.

Brushing your Teeth Properly

This is the most important part of at home dental hygiene; daily brushing of the teeth. The importance of brushing teeth should be ingrained in children from a very early age. Regular brushing removes the bacteria and plaque that causes tooth decay and gum infection. Make sure you choose a toothbrush that is right for you; both in handle grip and bristle texture. Soft bristle brushes are recommended as the hard bristles can cut gums, and always change your toothbrush at least every three months.

In an ideal world, everyone would brush after every meal but at the very least teeth should be cleaned twice per day; once in the morning and once before bed. Always brush using a circular motion at a 45 degree angle, do not brush too hard as this can cause the gums to cut and bleed. Make sure that you brush every surface of your teeth, and try to spend at least two to three minutes brushing, more if you can afford the time.


Flossing is a much over looked part of at home dental hygiene. The act of flossing every day is important to remove food that the toothbrush cannot reach. When food becomes lodged between teeth it will start to deteriorate rapidly, and the bacteria will cause plaque to form that can then lead to gum disease.

If you find the act of flossing a chore, try doing it while watching television before going to bed; just one flossing per day will mean that plaque does not get a chance to harden on the teeth. Make sure that you floss both sides of every tooth and pay particular attention to the back molars where food is easily trapped. Always brush your teeth after you have flossed as this is the most effective routine to keep plaque at bay.

At Home Dental Hygiene and Disclosing Tablets

Disclosing tablets are a simple product used to show where plaque has been left on the teeth. The tablets are made from a harmless vegetable dye that turns plaque red, this allows you a better chance of then brushing off the plaque before it hardens. Use the disclosing tablets once you have flossed and brushed, then take a small, dental mirror and check your teeth to see where the plaque remains. If you brush the plaque before it has a chance to harden, you are cutting your chances of tooth decay, cavities, and infections such as periodontal disease.

At Home Dental Hygiene and Fluoride

Fluoride is one of the best dental preventive measures known; it not only helps prevent cavities but is actually able to repair early cavities. In large cities and towns, a small amount of fluoride is added to the water supply and this has been shown to decrease cavity rate by as much as 60 percent. Always choose a fluoride based toothpaste and for added protection use a fluoride rinse that will help combat the germs that cause oral infection. Combining fluoride with good brushing and flossing will dramatically cut cavities.

At Home Dental Hygiene and Dental Nutrition

What we eat and drink also has a large effect on the health of our teeth. A good, balanced diet helps boost the immune system and makes it easier for the body to combat oral infection. Reducing the number of snacks and meals that are high in carbohydrates, along with limiting the number of sugary drinks will help fight tooth decay. Substitute sugary, comfort snacks for healthy snacks such as cheese, nuts, and fresh fruit and vegetables.

Also remember that the acids from food and drink can attack the teeth for around 20 minutes after consumption, so the longer we go without brushing, the longer plaque has a chance to form. Try eating sugarless gum after meals to promote saliva flow that will help eradicate germs from the mouth.

If you practise good, at home dental hygiene, you should find that your visits to the dentist become a lot more tolerable. By following a daily dental routine you are dramatically reducing your chances of bad breath, tooth decay, cavities and gum infection. A few minutes brushing and flossing everyday should mean good oral health for the rest of your life.

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