Oral hygiene is one of the best investments in healthcare. While taking care of your teeth doesn’t guarantee you won’t have problems, it will improve your chances of having good oral health. And it’s something that can be both simple and effective.

But how can you best clean your mouth? Here are some tips to make sure you’re practicing the best home oral hygiene. 

Young man standing in front of mirror, brushing his teeth

Choose a Low-Abrasion Toothpaste

Toothpaste can be very helpful in improving  your oral health. It can help remove plaque, kill bacteria, and replenish minerals lost for your tooth enamel (the white outer layer of your teeth). 

But toothpaste can also be dangerous to your teeth. Toothpaste includes abrasive particles. These help scrub your teeth clean, but if there are too many abrasive particles, the toothpaste can wear away your enamel–and damage restorations like crowns and veneers. We can recommend low-abrasive toothpastes that you can use to protect your teeth rather than damage them. 

You Can Brush without Toothpaste as Often as You Want

While it’s good to use toothpaste sometimes (we recommend twice a day), you don’t always have to use it. Instead, it’s more helpful to brush sometimes during the day without toothpaste. 

This lets you clean the plaque off your teeth without damaging your enamel. Plaque itself is as soft as yogurt, so it’s easy to clean off whenever you want. Brushing without toothpaste makes it easy to brush whenever and wherever and it keeps you from doing too much damage to your teeth. 

Brush Gently

Another potential problem for your teeth is if your brush too hard, either by moving the toothbrush too aggressively or pushing too hard against your teeth when you brush. While a soft toothbrush won’t damage your enamel, it can potentially damage your gums, causing them to recede. This can expose your tooth roots, which can make your teeth sensitive and more vulnerable to cavities. 

Consider an Electric Toothbrush

Many people worry that an electric toothbrush will do what we’re talking about above: injure your gums. However, the truth is that manual toothbrushes can be just as bad or even worse. They can be worse because people don’t know how hard they’re brushing. Most new electric toothbrushes can sense pressure and remind you to brush with a gentle touch. 

Meanwhile, electric toothbrushes are more effective at removing plaque, and that can lead to improved oral health. A 2019 long-term study of electric and manual toothbrush use found that people using electric toothbrushes had less gum disease, saw 18% fewer cavities, and 19% more retained teeth over the 11 years of the study. That’s worth making the switch, especially if you are having trouble brushing because of reduced manual dexterity. 

Find the Right Floss for You

In addition to brushing, you should floss every day. However, for many people this is easier said than done. People find flossing a challenge, so they’re more likely to avoid it. 

Fortunately, there’s more than one type of floss, and it’s a good idea to experiment with different types until you find the right kind for you and your teeth. 

In addition to traditional string floss, there is PTFE tape floss, disposable flossers, interdental brushes, and even water cleaners. The right floss for you isn’t just about how well it cleans. It’s also about comfort: the kind of floss that cleans best is the one you will use. So keep experimenting until you find one that’s comfortable, effective, and easy for you to use. 

Professional Dental Cleaning in Summerlin

Of course, home hygiene is only one part of protecting your teeth from cavities and gum disease. In addition to home hygiene, professional cleanings will remove the deposits you can’t. It also lets us check your teeth for problems so we can head them off before they become serious. 

If you’re looking for a dentist in the Summerlin area of Las Vegas, please call (702) 873-0324 today for an appointment with Dr. James B. Polley.