Why is oral hygiene so important?
Adults over 35 lose more teeth to gum (periodontal) disease than from cavities. The best way to prevent cavities and periodontal disease is by good teeth brushing and flossing techniques, performed daily. Periodontal disease and decay are both caused by bacterial plaque, which is constantly forming on your teeth. You can take action, however, by brushing and flossing daily to remove these germs and help prevent periodontal disease.
How to brush
It’s recommended to use a soft toothbrush. 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.
Hold the brush vertically to clean the inside surfaces of the upper and lower front teeth. Don’t forget to gently brush the surrounding gum tissue.
After you clean the biting surfaces of your teeth with short, gentle strokes, rinse vigorously to remove any plaque you might have loosened while brushing.
We are proud to sell the Oral-B Triumph™ electric toothbrush in our office. This toothbrush provides the most advanced cleaning technology for the ultimate plaque removal. Please contact our office for more information.
How to floss
Flossing is a very effective way to remove plaque from areas where your toothbrush can’t reach.
Start with a piece of floss (waxed is easier) about 18” 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. Slide it into the space between two teeth 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.
When you are done, rinse vigorously with water to remove plaque and food particles. Do not be alarmed if during the first week of flossing your gums bleed or are a little sore. If your gums hurt while flossing, you could be doing it too hard or pinching the gum. As you floss daily and remove the plaque, your gums will heal and the bleeding should stop.