Preventive Care

The link between your overall health and your dental health is significant. No matter your age, preventive dental care is important throughout your life. Diligent oral hygiene at home and regular care in our office helps keep your smile bright and healthy. Your daily habits can either support or undermine your dental health. To avoid the build up of plaque and cavities we encourage you to make a commitment to yourself to develop and maintain excellent home care.

  • Brush your teeth at least twice a day with a soft-bristled toothbrush. Use fluoride toothpaste to remove food particles and plaque from the tooth surfaces. Also be sure to brush the top surface of your tongue; this will remove any extra plaque-causing food particles, and help keep your breath fresh!
  • Clean between your teeth by flossing at least once a day. You can also use a mouthwash to help kill bacteria and freshen your breath. Decay-causing bacteria can linger between teeth where toothbrush bristles can't reach. Floss and mouthwash will help remove plaque and food particles from between the teeth and under the gum line.

    Printable instructions

     

    Brushing Instructions
    • brushing diagram

      Brushing: Step 1

      Place your toothbrush at a 45-degree angle to your gum.

    • brushing diagram

      Brushing: Step 2

      Brush gently in a circular motion.

    • brushing diagram

      Brushing: Step 3

      Brush the outer, inner, and chewing surfaces of each tooth.

    • brushing diagram

      Brushing: Step 4

      Use the tip of your brush for the inner surface of your front teeth.

     

    Flossing Instructions
    • flossing diagram

      Flossing: Step 1

      Wind about 18 inches of floss around your fingers as shown. Most of it should be wrapped around one finger, and the other finger takes it up as the floss is used.

    • flossing diagram

      Flossing: Step 2

      Use your thumbs and forefingers to guide about one inch of floss between your teeth.

    • flossing diagram

      Flossing: Step 3

      Holding the floss tightly, gently saw it between your teeth. Then curve the floss into a C-shape against one tooth and gently slide it beneath your gums.

    • flossing diagram

      Flossing: Step 4

      Slide the floss up and down, repeating for each tooth.

     

  • Eat a balanced diet consisting of nutrient-rich foods. Limit or avoid highly processed foods and drinks, especially those high in sugar which can cause serious oral health problems.
  • Schedule appointments with Dr. Wappett and Dr. Lovejoy at the recommended frequency in conjunction with professional cleanings by one of our hygienists.
  • Replace your toothbrush every 3 months.
  • Dental work, orthodontic braces, certain medical conditions, and other factors can make maintaining good dental care challenging. In such cases we recommend the use of a WaterPik.
  • When appropriate, we may recommend dental sealants, protective plastic coatings that can be applied to the chewing surfaces of the back teeth where decay often starts.
  • If you play sports, be sure to ask your dentist about special mouth-guards designed to protect your smile.

We understand that life is busy and it can be easy to let things slip. We are here to encourage healthy habits at home and regular preventive care in our office. In an effort to maintain these habits for life, Dr. Wappett has a monthly drawing to cheer you on! If you didn't set up your next preventive care visit at your last checkup, then it’s time to call and schedule an appointment.

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Alaska photography by Tom Walker, Copyright 2014