Top 5 things I do as a dentist to take care of my teeth (and you can too!)

Maintaining good oral health is essential for a beautiful smile and overall well-being. As a dentist, I've learned a lot about oral care, and I'm excited to share my top five tips for taking care of your teeth and gums. These practices have become an integral part of my daily routine, and they can make a significant difference in your oral health as well. Let's dive into it!

1. Stick to a Routine

Consistency is key when it comes to oral care. I can't stress this enough. My oral hygiene routine is straightforward and effective. I accomplish this by brushing my teeth twice a day for a full two minutes each time. This helps remove plaque and food particles, preventing the buildup of harmful bacteria.

Additionally, I make it a habit to floss every night before bedtime. Flossing is crucial for reaching those tight spaces between teeth where toothbrushes can't quite reach. It's a step that often gets overlooked but is essential for preventing gum disease and cavities.

I also incorporate a dental probiotic into my routine to support a healthy oral microbiome. This small addition can make a big difference in maintaining the balance of beneficial bacteria in your mouth.

2. Personalize Your Product Selection

One size doesn't fit all when it comes to oral care products. Through my work and experience, I've learned that the key is to find products that work specifically for your mouth. For me, it turned out that popular brands like Crest or Listerine weren't the best fit.

Understanding the unique bacteria in my mouth guided me to the products that help maintain balance. Testing my saliva with an oral microbiome test (like the peri oral health test) allowed me to understand what beneficial and harmful bacteria I was dealing with. So I avoid using toothpaste and mouthwash products that may disrupt the natural balance of my oral microbiome. This includes steering clear of alcohol-based rinses that can be harsh on beneficial bacteria.

3. Thorough Gum Cleaning

In addition to daily brushing and flossing, I set aside time once a week for a more thorough cleaning of my gums and the spaces between my teeth. I apply a small amount of toothpaste to my floss and gently clean between these areas. This extra step helps remove any residual plaque and keeps my gums healthy.

4. Timing Matters: Don't Brush Right After Eating or Drinking

This is a crucial tip that many people overlook. I never brush my teeth immediately after eating or drinking acidic foods or beverages. When you consume acidic substances, your tooth enamel temporarily softens. Brushing too soon can damage this softened enamel. Instead, I wait at least 30 minutes before brushing to allow my enamel to reharden naturally.

5. Don't Rinse Your Mouth After Brushing

One common mistake many people make after brushing their teeth is rinsing their mouths immediately with water or mouthwash. It might seem counterintuitive, but it's actually better to avoid rinsing your mouth after brushing, especially if you're using fluoride or nano-hydroxyapatite toothpaste.

When you rinse your mouth immediately after brushing, you wash away the protective fluoride or nano-hyroxyapatite that needs time to work on your teeth. Instead, after brushing, spit out the excess toothpaste, but leave a thin layer on your teeth. This allows the protective ingredients to continue working and provide lasting protection against tooth decay. So, remember to spit, not rinse, and let that toothpaste do its magic to keep your teeth strong and healthy.

Maintaining excellent oral health doesn't have to be complicated. By following a consistent routine, personalizing your product selection, cleaning your gums thoroughly, being mindful of when you brush, and not rinsing after brushing, you can keep your teeth and gums healthy and your teeth strong.

About Dr. Kantor

Alexandra Kantor is a prominent dentist and entrepreneur, known for her contributions to the dental industry. With over 10 years experience as a practicing dentist, she has gained a deep understanding of her patient's oral health and overall well-being. In 2022, Dr. Kantor founded peri, an at-home saliva test that specializes in analyzing key bacteria within the mouth. Dr. Kantor holds a Doctor of Dental Surgery degree from the Indiana School of Dentistry and is dedicated to promoting oral health through advanced technology.