Oral Hygiene Tips
Brushing & Flossing
One of the best ways to prevent periodontal disease, or gum disease, is to practice regular and thorough oral hygiene. Brushing and flossing are key components to the oral health formula and should be done at least twice daily. Additionally, patients should pay special attention to the types of oral hygiene products they choose, especially for sensitive teeth and gums. A regular oral hygiene routine can save significant time and finances in the ways of overall oral health.
It is recommended to hold the toothbrush at a 45-degree angle at the meeting point of the teeth and gums. Small and gentle strokes should be applied in a circular motion moving across all surfaces of the teeth. Light pressure should be applied, though not enough to cause discomfort. The same technique should also be applied to the inside back of each row of teeth.
To properly brush the inside of the top and bottom front teeth, patients should hold the brush in a vertical position and use small, back-and-forth strokes over the teeth. To brush the molars, use short gentle strokes. Be sure to apply them in several directions to ensure that all surfaces and angles of these teeth have been adequately brushed.
Flossing is especially important because periodontal disease will most commonly develop in the areas where a standard toothbrush can
t reach. Patients should be sure that they
re flossing properly to be sure that plaque and food buildup is effectively removed from between the teeth. Waxed floss is preferred, as it makes the flossing process simpler.
Take a piece of floss that measures about 18 inches and lightly wrap the floss around the middle fingers of each hand. Hold the floss between the forefinger and thumb of each hand to allow for greater control. Use a back-and-forth motion against the teeth, and curve a C
shape against the teeth to floss the entire surface. Continue this process until all nooks, crannies, and surfaces have been cleaned.
Home oral hygiene is a key to good dental health, but should not be used in place of regular visits to a specialist. In addition to the daily routine, patients should visit a specialist such as a periodontist and dentist at least twice a year. Professional cleanings will help to keep teeth sparkling white by removing any built up plaque and tartar that was missed during at-home care.