Is there anything you can do to improve your dental care at home? Yes! Dental hygienist Liliana Valeria Lazarin, who you can contact on Kounsel, is sharing today these great tips so you can take the best possible care of your teeth at home.

1. Invest in an electric toothbrush

Liliana's first recommendation is to change your regular toothbrush to an electric one. "Switching to an electric toothbrush can provide numerous benefits for your dental health. They are more effective at removing plaque and reducing gum disease risk than manual toothbrushes", she said.

Electric toothbrushes make maintaining good oral hygiene habits easier thanks to features such as timers, pressure sensors, and different brushing modes. There are also "many affordable options available in the market, with prices ranging from budget-friendly to more high-end models," Liliana said.

The initial cost of an electric toothbrush is higher than a manual one, but it is undoubtedly an investment that will last many years and help prevent costly dental problems.

2. Don't skip interdental cleaning

Interdental cleaning refers to cleaning between teeth, necessary for maintaining good oral health. "Oral bacteria can hide under the gum line, which brushing alone cannot reach," Liliana explained. "Bacteria in the mouth feed on the food particles and sugars left behind after eating or drinking. When plaque and food debris are not removed, they can form harmful bacteria in the mouth, which can cause gum disease, cavities, and bad breath," she continued.

This is preventable by practicing interdental cleaning. This way, you remove plaque and food debris that builds up in the spaces between teeth. The easiest way to do interdental cleaning is by flossing, but you can also find interdental brushes, water flosses, and toothpicks.

"Choosing the best tool for your needs and using it correctly and consistently to maintain good oral health is essential," said Liliana, who says that the ideal frequency is to do it daily.

3. Scrape your tongue!

Are you brushing your teeth several times a day? Great! But are you scraping your tongue? According to Liliana, the tongue's surface is covered in tiny bumps called papillae, which can trap bacteria, dead cells, and food debris, which can lead to bad breath, an unpleasant taste in the mouth, and an increased risk of tooth decay and gum disease.

"Tongue scraping is a simple and effective way to remove this build-up and improve oral hygiene. Tongue scrapers are designed to gently remove build-up from the tongue's surface without damaging it," Liliana explained. "When using a tongue scraper, it is essential to start at the back of the tongue and gently pull the scraper forward, rinsing it between each pass, and clean the tongue scraper thoroughly after each use to prevent the growth of bacteria," she continued.

4. Choose a toothpaste suit for your needs

The best toothpaste, according to Liliana, will depend on the individual's specific oral health needs and preferences. "However, I'd prefer a toothpaste containing hydroxyapatite if I had to choose one. Toothpaste containing this compound can be effective in remineralizing and repairing enamel, reducing tooth sensitivity, and preventing tooth decay," she said.

You should also combine toothbrushing with the use of mouthwash daily. It is more of a complement to brushing and interdental cleaning rather than a substitute. "Mouthwash can help to reduce the number of bacteria in the mouth and freshen your breath. Some mouthwashes contain antimicrobial agents that can help to kill bacteria that cause gum disease and tooth decay," Liliana explained.

5. Consult with a dental provider for at-home dental whitening products

Dental whitening is generally considered safe, especially if you follow your dental provider's instructions to avoid over-whitening or damaging your teeth or gums. Liliana told us that when people overuse whitening products, it can lead to tooth sensitivity, gum irritation, and enamel damage.

She explained that "dental whitening can be a safe and effective way to improve the appearance of your teeth and boost your confidence in your smile," but "the results of dental whitening can vary depending on the type of whitening and the severity of discoloration."

There are whitening strips or pens, custom-fitted trays with whitening gel, and other products you can use.

If you're looking for a dental hygienist, check out the professionals registered at Kounsel. You can chat directly with them on the app and ask for an online consultation.