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In our busy lives, sometimes it’s easy to let the little things slide. But oral health is no small thing! Here are some reminders about the basics of at-home dental care.

BRUSH: Remember to brush your teeth, twice a day, for two minutes each time. This basic step of oral hygiene removes plaque and food debris from the surfaces of your teeth–provided you do it right. Choose a brush with soft bristles; hard bristles irritate and damage the gums and enamel. Using gentle pressure, brush back and forth with short, tooth-wide strokes. Brush the inner surfaces, outer surfaces, and chewing surfaces of your teeth. Don’t forget to get the inner surfaces of your front teeth. Do this by tipping the brush downward (or upward, for the top teeth) into the mouth and scrub gently with several up-and-down strokes.

FLOSS: Flossing is very important for your oral health! Don’t skip it! Floss (or use another interdental cleaner) once a day. It should only take 2-3 minutes to clean in between all of your teeth, and that will be 2-3 minutes very well spent. Don’t forget to floss behind your back molars! If flossing with conventional floss is difficult for you, talk to your dentist about other interdental cleaning options, such as water flossing, pre-strung flossers, or floss for sensitive gums.

DRINK WATER: Drinking water, especially fluoridated water, is great for your teeth. It cleans out food particles and other debris, washes away sugars, and neutralizes the acids that cause cavities. Fluoridated water, available to 75% of the United States, is particularly helpful. Fluoride fortifies tooth enamel and strengthens teeth.

VISIT YOUR DENTIST: Support your at-home efforts by visiting your dentist regularly (at least once every 6 months). To schedule an appointment in San Jose, California, call AZ Dental at 408-437-1111. Dr. Ravi Aulakh and our team will be happy to see you!