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Your probably already know about the general recommendations from the American Dental Association regarding cleaning your smile at home. Most patients should be brushing their smiles twice a day—once in the morning and once before bed—as well as flossing at night. This seems straightforward enough, right?

Well, our O’Fallon dentists are here to help you take this basic daily dental routine to the next level. With a little planning, we can improve the efficacy of your at-home oral hygiene efforts.

Let’s start by talking about the tools that you’re using to clean your smile. Your toothbrush should be small enough that it fits into the back corners of your smile: these are prime spots for bacteria accumulation. You should also pay attention of the type of bristle you’re using; for many people, medium and firm bristles are actually too abrasive. Finally, make sure that you’re switching out your toothbrush every few months, and especially after suffering from an illness.

There are also tweaks that you can make to your technique to better clean your smile. When you brush, make sure to brush for at least two minutes. Apply gentle pressure as you move from tooth to tooth; applying too much pressure can wear down dental enamel and damage gum tissue. To clean your teeth, move your toothbrush in small circular motions over the flat surfaces of your enamel.

Before you start flossing, cut off a long strip of floss and wind it around your fingers. As clean between your teeth, unwind a fresh portion of your strip of floss, so that you are not inadvertently compounding plaque and tartar. Guide your piece of floss all the way down the length of your tooth and as far as it will comfortably go into your gum tissue.

Our O’Fallon dentists are here to give you any personalized oral hygiene recommendations that you may need. The best way to get started is to call our team and schedule a consultation!

Bad breath is a common complain among adult patients, but our O’Fallon dentists can help you take control of your oral health and beat bad breath for good. Keep reading to learn more about the causes of malodorous breath, as well as management strategies.

It is normal for people to temporarily experience bad breath after eating or drinking something that is strongly flavored. Dishes with onions and garlic, for example, can make your mouth feel stale and your breath odorous. This type of bad breath dissipates naturally as the food particles make their way out of your system. You can hasten this process by cleaning your smile thoroughly, drinking plenty of water, and using a mouth rinse.

If, however, you are battling more chronic, hard-to-treat bad breath, it could be indicative of an underlying oral health issue. Keep in mind that the same oral bacteria that cause cavities and gum disease also release unpleasant odors when they grow and multiply. So, if you are continually battling bad breath, it may be due to entrenched oral bacteria.

Unfortunately, many of the breath fresheners on the market only exacerbate the problem. Gums and mints often contain appreciable amounts of sugar. Because oral bacteria feed on sugars, these types of short-term solutions can intensify the underlying issue.

The way to defeat this type of chronic bad breath is to seek treatment for existing cavities and periodontal disease. Once you are able to minimize the amount of plaque and tartar in your mouth, you’ll find it much easier to keep your breath fresh and clean.

Our O’Fallon dentists provide the restorative care that all patients need to overcome dental cavities and gum disease. If you’re battling chronic bad breath, and you think it may be linked to underlying oral infections, please do not hesitate to seek prompt and effective treatment.

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