The Importance of Home Oral Care

Your home oral care routine is the single most important aspect of your overall dental health. While we’d like to see you every day, it’s just not practical. Home care is absolutely vital to maintaining a healthy and beautiful smile. Home care includes brushing, flossing, and other dental aids which are designed to help reduce bacteria and plaque from building up over time.


As a baseline to any good home care program, brushing your teeth regularly is a must. Brush your teeth at least twice per day with an ADA approved soft bristle brush and toothpaste. It is especially important that you brush your teeth before bed each night to prevent a buildup of bacteria and the hardening of plaque. When brushing your teeth, you should start with the brush at a 45-degree angle and brush in small circular motions ensuring you can always feel the bristles on your gums. All the surfaces of the teeth should be brushed including the inner, outer and biting surfaces of the teeth. The tip of the brush should be used to clean the inside of the front teeth and you should brush your tongue to remove bacteria and freshen the breath. Electric tooth brushes are a great option and remove plaque very well.


Flossing is extremely important as you must also clean between the teeth and under the gum line. Daily flossing is ideal to keep teeth and gums healthy. When flossing between teeth it disrupts plaque colonies to keep them from building up and damaging the teeth. Conventional floss is an option you can use and is best used in a curved c shape around each tooth and under the gum line. You will gently move the floss up and down to clean each side of each tooth. Floss holders are a great option as well. Water flossers are gaining in popularity and do a great job of removing unwanted debris left behind after brushing. Ask your hygienist for recommendations and tips on how to best use each type of floss.


Rinsing is also an important part of oral health. Rinsing your mouth with water between meals can help protect your teeth. Adding a mouthwash to your daily routine will help protect against gum disease by killing bacteria and reducing gingivitis.

Other dental aids can also be handy tools for oral health. Tools like inter-dental brushes, rubber tip stimulators, tongue cleaners, irrigation devices, fluoride, medicated rinses, etc. can help keep your teeth and gums healthy between dental visits.  

Questions about your home care plan? Give our Meridian dental office a call to schedule an exam and let Dr. Steiner and his staff walk you through the critical elements of a good home care plan.