COVID-19 At-Home Oral Hygiene Tips

By Sasha Curry

For nearly 17 months, most Americans have been learning a great deal about the routines we had built (and perhaps taken for granted) during pre-Covid-19 times. Many of us have had to find ways to pivot our daily routines due to business closures, personal budgets, or health risks. Are you one of those people?

Whether it’s your gym closing or a routine check-up going virtual, these changes can take a toll on overall wellness. In particular, those regular visits to your dentist for cleanings are part of an important routine in the maintenance of oral health!

Today’s post will be dedicated to sharing M Street Dental’s tips and tricks for tackling the most commonly neglected spots of at-home cleaning routines. These five spots are especially important to address when visits to the dentist are less frequent!

Let’s dive in:

The top 5 missed spots when cleaning your teeth at home:

The Lower Front Teeth 

The area covering our lower front teeth tends to be difficult to achieve a proper cleaning, especially if flossing habits aren’t practiced daily. There are several saliva glands under and around our tongue, and due to gravity, our saliva and the minerals in such will often pool right behind the lower front teeth. As a result, this tends to accelerate plaque and calculus accumulation. In the case of patients who have been fitted with a permanent retainer, flossing is often neglected as the task of incorporating a floss threader to allow the floss to get behind the retainer, can be seen as a nuisance. Although it is not ideal, if you or someone you know remains steadfast about avoiding flossing this area, we recommend using a proxabrush - a small bristled accessory allowing you to clean behind your retainer.

On The Back Side of Molars 

Another area of your teeth that is often neglected is the back side of your last molars. Depending on your anatomy, this area may be properly cleaned; however, this will be best achieved using an electric toothbrush. If you happen to be using a manual toothbrush, this may prove to be more difficult. Flossing this area can make a tremendous difference in your cleaning routine, and is easily achieved by wrapping the floss around your last tooth, and sliding gently up and down. Another tip that may seem counterintuitive is that when you are trying to reach this area, allow the opening of’ your mouth to be less wide as this will allow your cheeks to relax moving away from the brush more easily, and in turn, offering easier access to this problem area.

The Cheek Side of Your Upper Molars 

In this area, you’ll find your parotid duct. This makes for the release of more minerals and saliva than other areas of your mouth. In some cases, your cheeks may prevent your brush from working effectively because of little space to move. We recommend that when brushing the cheek side of your upper molars, slide your jaw to the left. This will allow the body of your mandible to move out of the way of your brush, leaving more space for proper cleaning.

Implant-Supported Restoration 

If you have an implant-supported restoration, be sure to push your floss in until you feel resistance. Since there is no presence of a ligament around your implant, you will often need a deeper cleaning under the gums than you would with a natural tooth.

Show your Back Teeth the Same Love 

Although they may not be as visible, your back teeth are just as important as your front teeth. The back teeth are the foundation for which you can show off a beautiful smile. Floss them and take care of them just as you would those wonderful white teeth in the front. Do what works best for you to keep them clean.

We’re all in this together.

Here at M Street Dental, your oral health is of top priority to us. No matter what your question or concern, we are always delighted to hear from you. Our mission is always to help you achieve and maintain the smile that makes you feel just right! Book your appointment today, and let our experts answer any questions you might have. We look forward to hearing from you.

From all of us at M Street,

Stay smiling!

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