At Hebert Family Dentistry, we encourage all our patients to visit us twice a year. Preventing cavities and periodontal disease is a team effort, and we also urge our patients to have a daily routine at home.
ADA Daily Recommendations
Follow the American Dental Association’s recommendations on home oral care to maintain a healthy smile.
The following is an information summary of the ADA’s home oral care guide.
The guide is divided into 3 sections:
1. General recommendations to prevent cavities and gum disease.
2. Personalized recommendations for patients at increased risk for cavities, gum disease.
3. Lifestyle recommendations.
General Daily Mouth Recommendations
1. Brushing twice daily with a fluoride toothpaste.
The ADA has found enough scientific evidence to support the fact that brushing twice daily reduces the risk of cavities and gum disease. Studies also conclude that brushing toothpaste products containing fluoride reduces the chance of cavities.
2. Cleaning between the teeth daily
Whatever method you use to clean between your teeth–dental floss, interdental brushes, or oral irrigators—according to the ADA, the “best method for any given patient may be one in which they will regularly perform.”
3. Eating a healthy diet
Limiting sugary snacks and beverages is important to overall well-being and health. The ADA concludes that the sugar content of any diet is associated with the incidence of cavities.
4. Visiting the dentist regularly
How often you visit the dentist depends on how susceptible you are to cavities and gum disease. The ADA recognizes that there must be a “balance between resource allocation and risk reduction.”
The standard advice is to do what 50% of Americans do–see your dentist twice a year. Whether you can get by with just an annual visit is between you and your dentist. If you are at a high risk for gum disease, you may have to schedule quarterly visits.
Patients found to be at an elevated risk or more focused treatment when disease is present need tailored guidance.
The ADA recommends that dentists:
- Give a patient with special needs a home care regimen for dental hygiene that takes into consideration:
- the patient’s increased risk for dental disease.
- the needs, wants, and preferences of the patient.
- Offer suggestions concerning the patient’s lifestyle changes (see Section 3 below)
- Look for the ADA Seal of Acceptance on home oral care products and mechanical devices that best suit the patient’s home dental care needs. Those devices and products include:
- Floss and other interdental devices for cleaning between the teeth.
- Antimicrobials with active ingredients to decrease the risk of gingivitis.
- Fluoride mouth rinses that benefit children who have elevated risk for cavities.
- Powered toothbrushes that provide effective removal of dental plaque and reduced risk of gingivitis when used properly.
Dentists are an outstanding resource for patients who want to improve their overall oral health. The ADA promotes these policies involving lifestyle considerations “to help reduce risks to oral health”:
The ADA discourages at-home orthodontic treatments and direct-to-consumer, do-it-yourself orthodontia “due to patient safety concerns.” Some orthodontic treatment services offer direct-to-consumer teeth straightening kits. Some even require impressions sent in by the patient. That process is subject to user error and can lead to improper fitting of the appliance, along with other harmful complications.
The ADA supports consumption of fluoridated water. Based on community studies and a 2015 U.S. Surgeon General finding that “community water fluoridation was an important component for developing a culture of disease prevention…” the ADA passed a resolution supporting community water fluoridation.
The ADA advises against using any form of tobacco. Cigarette smoking and smokeless tobacco products include “adverse effects on gingival health, enamel discoloration, and erosion, and oral cancer.”
The ADA also advises against oral piercings. Studies show that oral piercings can cause tooth fracture, wear, and gum recession, and bad breath.
Make An Appointment At Hebert Family Dentistry for Your Dental Care and Oral Health
We’d love to hear from you. Fill out our online form and we can set up an appointment. You can also call our office at 337-233.1271.