Our recommended routines for a healthier smile.
Why is oral hygiene so important?
3 out of 4 adults are affected at some point in their life with gum disease and cavities. This could result in staining, damage, and potential loss of teeth.
How cavities & gum disease can occur:
Bacterial plaque can easily build up at your gum line, on your teeth, and in between teeth.
The build up can decay teeth, cause discoloration, create sensitive teeth, and more.
How to prevent:
Brushing every morning and before bed daily. Flossing once daily-preferably before bed.
For children, teeth should be brushed with parents’ help as soon as teeth erupt in the mouth (around 6 months of age) and until approximately age 8.
Flossing should be done by parents as soon as teeth are tight together (around 6 years of age).
Fluoride toothpastes and mouth rinses, if used alongside brushing and flossing, can reduce tooth decay as much as 40%.
The best tooth brushing techniques
A soft rounded bristle brush is the best bristle strength to effectively clean without injury to your teeth and gums. Ask us about the two-finger brushing technique!
- You should brush your teeth for a total of 2 minutes. As a rule of thumb, try to brush the surface of each tooth about 10 times.
- Try to watch yourself in the mirror to make sure you clean each surface.
- Position the brush at a 45 degree angle where your gums and teeth meet.
- Gently move the brush in a circular motion several times using small, gentle strokes brushing the outside surfaces of your teeth.
- When you are done cleaning the outside surfaces of all your teeth, follow the same directions while cleaning the inside of the back teeth.
- To clean the inside surfaces of the upper and lower front teeth, hold the brush vertically. Make several gentle back-and-forth strokes over each tooth.
- Don’t forget to gently brush the surrounding gum tissue!
- Clean the biting surfaces of your teeth by using short, gentle strokes.
- After you are done, rinse vigorously to remove any plaque you might have loosened while brushing.
If you have any pain while brushing or have any questions about how to brush properly, please contact us!
The best flossing techniques
Flossing is an effective way to remove plaque from between your teeth where your toothbrush can’t reach.
The purpose of floss is to clean the sides of the teeth that your tooth brush cannot reach. If you are a daily flosser, you can prevent cavities in between your teeth and prevent bleeding gums!
- Don’t try force the floss or try to snap it in to place – you could hurt your gums!
- Do not be alarmed if during the first week of flossing your gums bleed or are a little sore. As you floss daily and remove the plaque, your gums will heal and the bleeding should stop. If it does not stop, please contact us! You could be flossing too hard or pinching your gums.
- Start with a piece of floss about 18 inches long.
- Lightly wrap most of the floss around the middle finger of one hand. Wrap the rest of the floss around the middle finger of the other hand.
- To clean the upper teeth, hold the floss tightly between the thumb and forefinger of each hand. Gently insert the floss tightly between the teeth using a back-and-forth motion.
- Bring the floss to the gumline then curve it into a C-shape against one tooth. Slide it into the space between the gum and the tooth until you feel light resistance. Move the floss up and down on the side of one tooth.
- Continue to floss each side of all the upper teeth. Be careful not to cut the gum tissue between the teeth.
- As the floss becomes soiled, turn from one finger to the other to get a fresh section.
- To clean between the bottom teeth, guide the floss using the forefingers of both hands. Do not forget the back side of the last tooth on both sides, upper and lower.
- Rinse vigorously with water to remove plaque and food particles.
If you have any pain while flossing, or have any questions about how to floss properly, please contact us!
Choosing oral hygiene products
There are so many products on the market choosing between all the products can be difficult! Here are our suggestions for choosing dental care products that will work for most patients.
- We recommend a soft tooth brush.
- Automatic and “high-tech” electronic toothbrushes are safe and effective for the majority of the patients. We see excellent results with the electric toothbrushes such as Sonicare or Oral-B.
- Waterpik (water flossers) are a useful tool to remove food and plaque from areas that are difficult to reach, implants, and orthodontic appliances. You will still need to brush and floss in conjunction with this product!
- Some toothbrushes have a rubber tip on the handle, this is used to massage the gums after brushing. There are also tiny brushes (interproximal toothbrushes) that clean between your teeth. If these are used improperly you could injure the gums, so discuss proper use with your doctor.
- Mouth rinses, approved by the American Dental Association, contain agents that may help bring early gum disease under control. They should be used in conjunction with brushing and flossing.
- Please note that these rinses are not recommended for children under six years of age.
- Tartar control toothpastes will reduce tartar above the gum line, but gum disease starts below the gum line so these products have not been proven to reduce the early stage of gum disease.
Take a step towards a lifetime of great oral health.
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