Ask any dentist and they’ll tell you that substituting at-home dental care for routine examinations is never a good idea. Even so, it’s important that you have the right dental tools to do the job well. While a number of fancy instruments are used at dental offices, patients should know that regular use of simple tools at home along with dental checkups is best.
If you’ve heard it once, you’ve heard it a million times—brushing and flossing has the power to remove plaque on teeth and gums before it hardens and becomes a bigger issue. When performed together, brushing removes the sticky, fuzzy film off of teeth, while flossing dislodges food particles and plaque that has squeezed between teeth and along the gum line. As a rule, it’s best to floss first, as this allows for fluoride from toothpaste to reach areas beyond the tooth’s front surface. Even so, while brushing and flossing certainly gets the job done, it’s possible for plaque to remain on teeth.
Did you know that you might test for the presence of plaque on your teeth at home? Plaque staining kits are a way to “highlight” areas around teeth and gums that contain excess plaque. For instance, soft tablets are chewed and rinsed with water. Suppose the tablets are blue. After chewing and rinsing, look for a light blue color on your teeth. You may notice that some areas are darker than others, and this helps develops better brushing and flossing.
Perhaps another dental tool that deserves attention is a tongue scraper. While they certainly work to scrape off the milky film that contributes to bad breath, they also remove bacteria and fungus that has settled on the surface of the tongue.
One may assume—with the right toothbrush, the right type of floss, a plaque staining kit, and a tongue scraper, oral care at home should be a breeze, right? For some, having the right tools is not enough if they cannot use them properly. In fact, patients note that flossing is their greatest frustration. If you feel as though you are not flossing well, consider using an interdental cleaner or oral irrigator. Interdental cleaners are small wand-like cleaners that have small bristles on one end. They are incredibly useful for squeezing into tight spaces and removing plaque and particles. In turn, an oral irrigator is a tool commonly used in those with braces that shoots water between teeth, and is helpful to dislodge particles and bacteria buildup. While these tools shouldn’t replace flossing, they are easy to use and a helpful supplement for your at home dental regimen.
With five-star comprehensive dentistry in Charlotte, Marvin Village Dentistry wants to be your family’s home for luxurious, friendly, and affordable dental care. Led by Dr. Ginger Walford, our team maintains a passion for helping our patients obtain optimal oral health and their best smile.
Posted on behalf of Marvin Village Dentistry