Dental self-check

I am getting real serious about teeth and gum health, and would like to know what I need to buy and what I need to know to give myself check ups. This will not be a substitute, but rather a supplement to a periodic visit to the dentist. Any sites or books would be welcome, or any direct advice would be appreciated.

It’s not that a yearly visit is not enough, it’s just that I would like to know this stuff for the sake of knowledge and self improvement.


Toothbrush and floss are the most important. You can buy a mirror at most larger drugstores or ask your dentist for a disposable one. Since you won’t be autoclaving it, it should last for a couple years.

Your can visually check for: puffy gums, staining of teeth, chipped enamel, discolored patches on cheek or gums.

Do not buy any metal instruments to poke or scrape your teeth. They can be unwieldly without practice. We see a few people every year who have pierced their gums with the explorers sold in stores.

Visit for good basic info.