How to Care for Your Teeth Between Professional Dental Cleanings

How to Care for Your Teeth Between Professional Dental Cleanings
There’s no substitute for regular professional dental cleanings — but you can do a lot to care for your teeth between dentist appointments. Here, our dental team has tips for establishing a strong oral health care routine.

Getting regular professional dental cleanings is one of the best ways to care for your oral health. These routine appointments don’t just leave you with a squeaky-clean smile — they also give your dentist the opportunity to identify and address any issues that could affect your oral health later on.

And while there’s no substitute for going to the dentist, taking care of your teeth between professional cleanings is equally important. Narjes Abtahi, DDS, and our team at Your Community Smile specialize in comprehensive dental care in Lansdowne, Virginia, and we’re here to help you keep a healthy, vibrant smile all year.

These are our best tips for caring for your teeth between professional dental cleanings.

1. Brush your teeth properly

Brushing your teeth at least twice a day is the foundation of your at-home oral health care routine.

Using a fluoride toothpaste and a soft-bristle toothbrush, gently brush the fronts, backs, and chewing surfaces of your teeth for two minutes. This technique helps remove plaque, bacteria, and food particles that can lead to cavities and gum disease.

2. Replace your toothbrush regularly

Toothbrushes don’t last forever. They wear out over time, and they can even harbor bacteria. Replace your toothbrush or electric toothbrush head every three to four months, or sooner if the bristles are faded or frayed.

3. Floss once a day

While many people skip flossing, it plays a vital role in preventing gum disease and maintaining healthy teeth. Flossing helps remove food particles and plaque from areas that your toothbrush might miss, especially between your teeth and along your gum line.

Aim to floss once a day, preferably before bedtime, to keep your teeth and gums healthier between professional cleanings.

4. Choose the right mouthwash

Along with brushing and flossing, using mouthwash can provide an extra layer of protection between dental cleanings. Opt for an antimicrobial or fluoride mouthwash to help kill bacteria, strengthen tooth enamel, and even fight bad breath.

5. Mind your diet

Eating a balanced diet is good for your overall health — and your oral health. Focus on eating whole foods like fruits, vegetables, lean proteins, and low-fat dairy products, which provide essential nutrients. Limit sugary snacks and beverages because they can contribute to tooth decay.

6. Stay hydrated

Drinking water throughout the day helps maintain saliva production, which is crucial for neutralizing acids in your mouth and protecting your tooth enamel. Plus, water helps wash away food particles and bacteria between brushings. Remember to limit soda, juice, and other sugary beverages, which increase your risk of cavities.

7. Avoid tobacco and limit alcohol

If you're serious about maintaining your oral health between dental cleanings, it's wise to avoid tobacco and moderate your alcohol intake. Tobacco use increases your risk of a range of oral health problems, including gum disease and oral cancer. Excessive alcohol consumption can contribute to tooth decay and gum disease. 

When it comes to caring for your teeth between cleanings, these simple habits go a long way. Call Your Community Smile at 703-565-2667 to get more personalized tips or to schedule your next professional cleaning. You can also book an appointment online.