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Maintaining dental health at home

7 tips from a dentist for protecting your teeth

While it’s recommended that you see your dentist at least twice a year, most of your dental care can be done at home.

Here are seven things you can do at home to help maintain your healthy smile:

1. Brush your teeth

Many people don’t know how to properly brush or just don’t brush enough. Brush after every meal and especially after eating sugary foods or food that can easily get stuck in your teeth, like popcorn. Use fluoride toothpaste and soft bristled toothbrushes. Brush softly for about three minutes, giving every side of your mouth equal amounts of time.

2. Floss

Floss at least every 24 hours. If your gums bleed after flossing, it can be a sign of gum disease, an oral infection of the mouth which has been linked to serious problems including heart attacks. Floss gently in a V shape to get those food particles up and out of the gums. Remember to rinse after flossing.

3. Change eating habits

Eat less sugary sweets and soda, but also be aware that many fruits are high in sugar. If you’re concerned with stains, remember that anything that stains a white t-shirt could stain your teeth.

4. Use a water flosser

Any brand of water flosser such as WaterPik will work, but that brand does a fantastic job of getting to those hard to reach places where floss and regular toothbrushes can’t. WaterPiks are also good for those with braces or bridges.

5. Swish after eating

If you’re on the go and can’t brush your teeth, just use water to swish around for a few seconds and spit out. This can help keep food from sticking around. Just make sure you brush as soon as possible.

6. Chew xylitol gum

Xylitol is used as a sweetener in some gum and it reduces the levels of decay-causing bacteria in your mouth.

7. Wear a night guard

If you grind your teeth, night guards will help protect your teeth from themselves as they grind against each other, causing discomfort. Follow the tips listed here and visit your dentist or hygienist at least twice a year to maximize your smile’s potential.

If you have any questions about your dental routine and would like to connect with a dentist, these tips were provided by Dr. Mark Davis and the staff of Perfect Smile Tulsa. Learn more at, 918-770-0870 and are located at 53rd and South Lewis.

  • Dr. Mark Davis says, “Use fluoride toothpaste and soft bristled toothbrushes.”

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