The Importance of Oral Hygiene

Many oral health issues are caused by a buildup of bacterial plaque. Plaque is a dense, colorless film, which sticks to your teeth at the gum line. Plaque is constantly forming and by brushing thoroughly, you can remove these germs and prevent bacteria from taking hold on your gums.

The Proper Way to Brush

For starters, we recommend using a soft bristle toothbrush. When you start brushing, place the brush at a 45-degree angle when your gums meet your teeth. Move the brush in a circular motion, using small, gentle strokes. When the bristles make contact between the teeth, use light pressure without causing discomfort. After you’ve brushed the outside surface of your teeth, use the same direction to brush the inside of the back of your teeth.

When cleaning the inside surfaces of the upper and lower front teeth, hold the brush vertically. Use gentle back-and-forth strokes over each tooth, as well as the surrounding gum tissue.

The next step is to clean the biting surface of your teeth using short, gentle strokes. Regularly change the position of the brush as often as needed to reach all areas. When you’re done, rinse vigorously to remove and lose plaque.

Are You Flossing the Right Way?

Periodontal disease most commonly appears in hard to reach areas, like between your teeth. To avoid bacterial build-up, you should floss regularly to remove plaque from those regions. Learning how to floss properly will go a long way to improving your overall dental health so here’s what you need to do:

  1. Start with a string of floss about 18 inches long. Wrap the ends of the floss to the middle fingers of both hands.
  2. When cleaning the upper teeth, hold the floss tightly between the thumb and forefinger of each hand. Gently slide the floss between the teeth using a back and forth motion. Try not to force or snap the floss into place as that can cause bleeding and gum damage.
  3. Once the floss is in place, move it to the gum line and curve it to a C-shape again one of the teeth. Now begin to move the floss up and down on the side of one tooth. Continue to floss each side of every upper tooth but be careful not to cut the gum tissue as it can lead to infection.
  4. After the floss becomes soiled, turn from one finger to the other to get a fresh section. As you clean between the bottom teeth, guide the floss using the forefingers of both hands.
  5. Rinse vigorously once you’ve completed your flossing to remove loose plaque and food particles. Some bleeding during your first week of flossing is normal, but if your gums frequently hurt, you might be flossing too hard. As you floss regularly, your gums will heal, and the bleeding will subside.

Picking the Right Oral Hygiene Products and Equipment

With such an expansive range of oral hygiene products available on the market, making the best choice for your oral health can be overwhelming. Following these suggestions will make finding the most effective product a little easier.

  • Buying an electric toothbrush has proven effective for many patients. They are safe and provide a gentle pulsating motion that mimics the ideal brushing technique.
  • Oral irrigators are useful devices for a thorough rinse. They are most effective when used in conjunction with regular flossing.
  • To get between your teeth, you can purchase specially made tiny brushes called interproximal toothbrushes.
  • Fluoride toothpastes, when used in combination with regular brushing and flossing, can reduce tooth decay by as much as 40%. However, keep in mind that they should not be used by children under the age of six.
  • Anti-plaque rinses that have been approved by the ADA (American Dental Association) can help control early gum disease.

Caring for Sensitive Teeth

It’s common for teeth to become sensitive to hot and cold after a dental treatment. If you follow your normal dental care routine, this sensitivity will not last long. Lack of hygiene can cause the sensitivity to linger or become more severe. If your teeth are especially sensitive, your dentist might recommend a medicated toothpaste or mouth rinse.

Professional Cleaning

Daily brushing and flossing are vital in removing dental plaque and calculus. However, a professional cleaning will reach areas you’ll frequently miss. A routine professional cleaning and regular visits to your dentist are critical in preventing gum disease. To keep your teeth healthy and clean, come to the experts at Evans Family Dental.