How can I deep clean my teeth at home?
When it comes to teeth and gums, knowing ways to care for them beyond the everyday routine of brushing and flossing can be beneficial to your oral health. One way to accomplish this is by considering how to provide a deeper clean to reach those hidden areas and remove more of the lingering plaque and tartar that regular efforts often miss.
Why Do I Need a Deep Cleaning?
The structure of the mouth, teeth, and gums makes it nearly impossible to easily reach all the areas with a toothbrush. Specific techniques are needed to remove developing decay, bacteria, and tartar which can lead to cavities, gum disease, and other oral health issues.
Essentially, a deep cleaning involves removing the mouth bacteria and food debris that accumulates above and below your gum line. At regularly scheduled dental cleanings, the focus is more on the surfaces of your teeth, in spaces between teeth, and the areas around the gumline. A specialty deep cleaning, called scaling and root planing, seeks out the hidden areas and can help prevent future dental issues.
How Can I Deep Clean My Teeth While at Home?
There are some specific tasks you can do at home to help deep clean your teeth. Most of these require that you upgrade your normal brushing and flossing products and consider ways to get a better clean.
Upgrade your Toothbrush
Select a toothbrush that is designed well for reaching smaller areas of the mouth. Make sure it is soft-bristled so as to more effectively remove plaque and protect your gums and teeth enamel in the process. Find one that you can hold comfortably for at least two minutes as you slowly make your way around your mouth.
Clean and Sanitize Your Toothbrush After Each Use
Without cleaning your toothbrush after each use, you run the risk of leaving traces of bacteria and re-introducing it into your mouth the next time you brush. To keep it clean, always rinse the bristles slowly under hot water prior to and after brushing.
Between brushings, soak the toothbrush in an antibacterial mouthwash. You may even want to go one step further and utilize a modern UV toothbrush sanitizer to destroy any accumulating bacteria. Replace your toothbrush every two to four months or more often if necessary.
Choose Thin or Thick Floss
Choose a floss depending on the particular spacing of your teeth. Thinner floss is good for when your teeth are closer together. For teeth that have larger gaps or spacing, a thicker one will work best. Floss at least once per day, but preferably after every meal.
Another option is to buy a water flosser, which can limit bleeding and also make the experience more fun. You may want to limit its use to certain days of the week when you can take it slow and focus on a deeper cleaning.
Use a Specialty Toothpaste
Search for a toothpaste that will eliminate bacteria and prevent plaque build-up while also strengthening teeth enamel and gums.
Be sure to review the ingredients. Fluoride can be helpful in maintaining a healthy smile, slowing the loss of minerals within the teeth enamel and reducing cavity development. If you’re not sure you will benefit from fluoride, discuss it with your dentist first.
Rinse with a Stronger Mouthwash
Choose a stronger mouthwash than those that address bad breath only. Such mouthwashes can treat the build-up of tartar or plaque on your teeth, and fast swishing can force debris and hidden bacteria out of their hiding places and away from your teeth and gums. Make sure the one you choose does not contain alcohol.
Use a Combination of Household Items
A select group of household items can help you deep clean and soothe teeth and gums at home, especially if you suspect gum disease is developing. Start by combining equal parts water, salt, and hydrogen peroxide. Slowly add baking soda until it makes a paste. Gently brush your teeth and massage your gums with the paste, then rinse your mouth with lukewarm water.
Deep cleaning is an essential step in maintaining a healthy mouth and smile, and these are certain things you can do at home to help. After that, consider scheduling an appointment with your dentist to discuss how a professional deep cleaning will be beneficial.
How Can a Dentist Help?
If your oral health needs additional help beyond routine cleanings and at-home efforts, talk with your dentist about a procedure called scaling and root planing. Pockets at the base of the gums can indicate periodontal disease, and to alleviate these or prevent further damage, this deep cleaning procedure may be able to help.
Essentially, scaling and root planing is a deep cleaning method that goes under your gum line to access the structures found there. Two steps are involved.
- Scaling: Scaling involves the removal of plaque and tartar build-up from above and below the gumline, cleaning out any deep pockets between your teeth and gums.
- Root Planing: Using a special technique, the roots of your teeth are exposed and smoothed out, enabling the gums to have a better chance at re-attaching to teeth.
Contact Lifetime Dental to Schedule a Deep Cleaning
Practicing good oral hygiene is often enough to keep your mouth and smile healthy. For times when you need a little extra help, a deep cleaning may be necessary. Dr. Richard Barry and his team here at Lifetime Dental Health can do this for you. Contact our office today and schedule a consultation to learn how you can benefit from a professional deep cleaning.