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Oral Hygiene

Oral Hygiene

Importance of Oral Hygiene

Maintaining a clean and healthy mouth is important for the prevention of cavities and periodontal (gum) disease. At least 3 out of 4 adults will have gum disease in their life. If not properly treated, it can lead to tooth loss, as well as have an effect on the health of your entire body. To prevent gum disease from ever starting, brush and floss your teeth daily, and keep regular cleaning appointments with your dentist.

Brushing

Clean your teeth every day by brushing them with a toothbrush and toothpaste at least twice, once in the morning and once in the evening.

With a small amount of toothpaste applied to a soft to medium toothbrush:

  • Brush all surfaces of your teeth using a circular motion and light pressure
  • Gently brush the surrounding gum tissue as well to remove bacteria
  • Don’t forget to brush your tongue, as it also contains bacteria that can cause plaque to build up
  • Brush thoroughly until all areas of each tooth have been reached.

A regular toothbrush is effective in cleaning your teeth, but you may choose to use an electronic toothbrush, which give excellent results as well. As far as toothpaste, choose a brand with fluoride. There are also medicated toothpastes available for people with sensitive teeth.

If you have any questions about brushing or what products to use, talk to us during your next visit or give us a call.

Flossing

Flossing is just as important as brushing, and should be done daily as well. It reaches the areas of the teeth that cannot be reached by simply brushing them.

Using a long piece of waxed floss or a floss pick:

  • Gently insert the floss between each tooth
  • Move the floss up and down the sides of each tooth, sliding it down in between the tooth and the gum
  • Replace floss as you move from tooth to tooth, as it will become weak

It is normal for you gums to feel sore and bleed a little during flossing, but this should stop as you continue to floss on a regular basis. If it continues, let us know during your next appointment.

Mouth Rinses

There are a variety of mouth rinses that can be used in conjunction with brushing and flossing. Remember though, mouth wash does not take the place of brushing and flossing, but can aid in reducing tooth decay. Fluoride rinses and anti-plaque rinses, approved by the ADA, are excellent in helping keep gum disease under control.

Professional Cleaning

Maintaining routine visits to the dental office is an important part of your oral hygiene. A professional cleaning can remove tartar (hardened plaque) in areas that a toothbrush and floss might miss. A regular cleaning at the dental office every 6 months is recommended in maintaining healthy teeth for a lifetime.