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West Loop 312-201-4141

Home Dental Care Advice


There are steps that you can take to keep your teeth healthy at home. Dental care involves more than just seeing your dentist twice a year, to have a healthy mouth, dental care needs to be continuously done at home. At Cameo Dental Specialists, we understand that an important aspect of dentistry is educating our patients on their oral health and how the steps they take can have a strong impact. Working with our team, including a specialist at Cameo and our professional hygienist, we can show you tips and offer advice on caring for your teeth between visits. Working together, we can help you have a healthier, longer lasting smile.

Brushing Your Teeth

Brushing your teeth needs to be part of your normal daily routine. Some patients may find that it is best to brush after each meal, but the minimum should be twice a day. We recommend brushing your teeth after you wake each morning and before you retire to bed each night. Brushing your teeth is the single biggest thing you can do to help protect your teeth from decay-causing bacteria.

Bacteria Exposure

Our teeth are exposed to many bacteria, from chewing, breathing, and speaking. The body has created a defense to fight bacteria, which is saliva, but this does not eliminate the need for brushing. Plaque is a naturally developed material that builds up in our mouths and bacteria loves it. As we chew food, it blends with saliva and most is swallowed, but bits remain. These bits are broken down into the white substance that gathers along the rim of our teeth and gums, it is known as plaque. Plaque is an ideal spot for bacteria to thrive. As bacteria remains, it causes decay to our teeth. Plaque needs to be brushed away at least twice a day. Plaque that is not removed will dry and harden into a material known as tartar or calculus. Hardened plaque is difficult to remove and should only be removed by a hygienist who is trained to remove it without damaging the enamel.

Brushing Tips

The goal for tooth brushing is to remove plaque and any leftover food debris. There are some tips and tricks that you can do to increase the benefit of brushing your teeth. We recommend:

•  Type of Brush:Many patients have wondered if they should use a firm, medium or soft bristled brush, we recommend a soft bristled brush. We want you to remove plaque, but not layers of enamel. When choosing your toothbrush to consider the handle shape for your comfort, some patients have found an electric toothbrush to be beneficial. The most important factors in choosing a brush are to replace it often. Bacteria can remain on your brush, and we do not want you to introduce bacteria into your mouth from your brush. Consider changing your toothbrush every 3-6 months.
•  Time:Are you brushing long enough? Proper tooth brushing should take about two minutes, spending about 30 seconds in each of the four quads. Time yourself, two minutes is probably longer than you realize. Some patients have found silently singing a song in their heads while they brush to help.
•  Toothpaste:There is a large variety of toothpaste available. We recommend purchasing toothpaste that contains fluoride. Other benefits listed on toothpaste such as teeth whitening or fresh breath are nice added features, but the fluoride is key. Fluoride, when used as directed, will assist in rebuilding enamel and strengthening your teeth.
•  Technique:There is a certain technique that is beneficial when brushing. We recommend angling the brush toward the gums, brushing along the rim of the tooth and gums. This is where plaque tends to gather and should be removed. Following this step, take the time to brush each tooth, front back, and between in a circular motion.


Flossing Your Teeth

Following brushing, flossing is the next most important step in your home dental care routine. Flossing needs to be done to maintain a healthy mouth. At Cameo Dental Specialists, we would like our patients to floss at the end of each day. This is to remove any food or plaque that is between your teeth. There are some tips that can improve your flossing.

•  Floss Regularly:Floss every day before going to bed each night. Food and debris left between your teeth can irritate your gums causing you discomfort.
•  Floss before you brush:Most patients brush before they floss, but this is not ideal. Flossing is done to remove larger debris, by removing it, your brushing will be more successful. Additionally, many patients are exhausted at the end of their day, and though they may understand the importance of brushing, they may choose not to floss because they want their bedtime routine to be done faster. Starting the habit of flossing before you brush will increase the likelihood of doing it.
•  Length:Using about 18 inches of floss, shift the floss to a clean area while removing debris. The goal is to remove bacteria, not move it.
•  Form a C:When flossing, angle the floss in an arch, similar to a letter C in shape. We want you to scoop the floss between the teeth, not just an up and down motion.


Additional Home Care Tips

There are numerous products and tools that can assist in your home oral health care. Patients find that mouthwash assists in reducing a number of bacteria in their mouth while freshening their breath. They also find the assistance of water piks and other tools to be helpful in removing debris. All of these products and tools are the same purpose as brushing and flossing, to remove bacteria and debris.

Educating our patients on their home dental care is an important aspect of preventive care. We are happy to review your level of decay and offer individualized daily routine plans. For more information on home dental care, contact a specialist at Cameo at Cameo Dental Specialists. Our staff is here to assist you in scheduling appointments and answering your questions. (708) 456-7787
The Cameo doctors who lead our experienced and highly trained staff provide exceptional care in a friendly and comfortable environment.
Call Cameo Dental Specialists today to schedule an appointment at one of our 4 locations.


7603 West North Avenue
River Forest, Illinois 60305

708-456-7787
3116 Oak Park Avenue
Berwyn, Illinois 60402

708-484-9011
475 West 55th Street, Suite 208
La Grange, IL 60525

708-579-0488
910 W. Van Buren Suite 600
Chicago, IL 60607

312-201-4141

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