Our goal at AZ Dental is to help you enjoy a healthy, beautiful smile that lasts a lifetime.  One of the most important aspects of dental care is your oral hygiene routine at home.  Your personal home care includes brushing, flossing, eating balanced meals, and reducing the number of snacks you eat.  For more information about home care and oral hygiene, and to schedule your appointment with Drs. Andrew McDonald, Trang Thai, and Valerie De Leon, contact us today at 408-227-6000.

Good oral hygiene helps to keep your mouth healthy, preventing tooth decay, periodontal disease, staining, and bad breath (halitosis).  We have provided basic instructions for brushing and flossing on this page.  If you have further questions, please speak with our dentists or hygienists.

Tooth Brushing
You should brush your teeth at least twice a day.  It is especially important to brush your teeth before going to bed at night.  We recommend that you use an ADA-approved, soft bristle brush and toothpaste.  Electric toothbrushes are also recommended, as they are easy to use and very efficient at removing plaque.

When brushing:

  • Place the brush at a 45-degree angle to the gums.
  • Gently brush using a small, circular motion, ensuring that you always feel the bristles on your gums.
  • Brush the inner, outer, and chewing surfaces of each tooth.
  • Use the tip of the brush to clean the inside of your front teeth.
  • Brush your tongue. This will remove bacteria from the tongue and help keep your breath fresh.

Flossing
You should floss daily to clean between the teeth and under the gum line.  Flossing also disrupts plaque colonies, helping prevent conditions such as tooth decay and gum disease from developing.

When flossing:

  • Use 12-16 inches (30-40 cm) of floss. Wrap it around your middle fingers, leaving about 2 inches (5 cm) of floss between your hands.
  • Using your thumbs and forefingers to guide the floss, gently insert it between your teeth using a sawing motion.
  • Curve the floss in to a C shape around each tooth and under the gum line.
  • Gently move the floss up and down to clean the side of each tooth.

If you have difficulty using conventional floss, we recommend that you try using a floss holder.

Rinsing
Remember to rinse out your mouth with water after brushing, as well as after meals when you are unable to brush.  Consult with our dentists and hygienists about appropriate over-the-counter mouth rinses.

Other oral hygiene aids may be recommended by our dental professionals if needed.