Oral Hygiene

Why is oral hygiene so important?

Adults over 35 lose more teeth to gum diseases, (periodontal disease) than from cavities. Three out of four adults are affected at some time in their life. The best way to prevent cavities and periodontal disease is by good tooth brushing and flossing techniques, performed daily.

Periodontal disease and decay are both caused by bacterial plaque. Plaque is a colorless film, which sticks to your teeth at the gum line. Plaque constantly forms on your teeth. By thorough daily brushing and flossing you can remove these germs and help prevent periodontal disease.

Periodontal diseases can be accelerated by a number of different factors. However, it is mainly caused by the bacteria found in dental plaque, a sticky colorless film that constantly forms on your teeth. If not carefully removed by daily brushing and flossing, plaque hardens into a rough, porous substance known as calculus (or tartar).

Other important factors affecting the health of your gums include:

  • Smoking
  • Diabetes
  • Stress
  • Clenching and grinding teeth
  • Medication
  • Poor nutrition

Brushing

  1. Use a soft toothbrush
  2. Butler 471 Micro Tip Compact
  3. Use Oxyfresh toothpaste.
  4. Short back and forth strokes – two teeth at a time.
  5. Brush all surfaces and at gumline – do not traumatize tissues. Try to use only wrist action and 2 fingers and the thumb.
  6. Brush with right and left hands.
  7. Clean tissues and brush surface of tongue.
  8. Feel your teeth with your tongue before and after you brush.

How to Brush

  1. Hold on to the tip end of the Brush.
  2. Place brush at 45-degree angle into the gum line.
  3. Brush two or three teeth at a time gently going back and forth.
  4. Brush both sides of teeth, behind very back teeth, and biting surface.
  5. Turn tooth brush up on end when brushing back side of upper and lower front teeth.
  6. Brush tongue.

Perio – Aid:

  1. Use soft wood toothpicks.
  2. This is a very good cleaning aid for hard to get to areas.

We suggest you floss first, then brush, and then finish with a perio-aid when recommended.

This total oral hygiene program must be done once every 24 hours – preferably the same time each day. You may wish to do this while watching television, reading, etc.

Any other oral hygiene routines you have (brushing morning, noon, night, etc.) feel free to continue, but do not substitute for our recommended procedure.

Use of Perio-Aid

This is a very good cleaning aid for hard to get areas; to be used along with floss and toothbrush.

If you have any pain while brushing or have any questions about how to brush properly, please be sure to call the office at Bethany Office Phone Number 405-787-8990.

Flossing

  1. Use unwaxed dental floss.
  2. Make sure floss is tight against tooth surface and fingers are close to teeth, approximately one inch of floss between fingers.
  3. Rock floss back and forth to get into tight spaces – do not snap down onto tissues.
  4. Start at the same place each time – feel with tongue each space.
  5. Keep right hand on right side – left hand on left side.
  6. Remember two fingers do not crowd your mouth like four fingers will.
  7.  Start in the same place every time, count the teeth and follow the tongue.
  8.  When flossing around the back teeth, reach in from the center of the mouth and push the cheek out of the way and allow for plenty of floss between the hands.

Periodontal disease usually appears between the teeth where your toothbrush cannot reach. Flossing is a very effective way to remove plaque from those surfaces. However, it is important to develop the proper technique. The following instructions will help you, but remember it takes time and practice.

Caring for Sensitive Teeth

Sometimes after dental treatment, teeth are sensitive to hot and cold. This should not last long, but only if the mouth is kept clean. If the mouth is not kept clean the sensitivity will remain and could become more severe. If your teeth are especially sensitive consult with your doctor. They may recommend a medicated toothpaste or mouth rinse made especially for sensitive teeth.

Choosing Oral Hygiene Products

There are so many products on the market it can become confusing and choosing between all the products can be difficult. Here are some suggestions for choosing dental care products that will work for most patients.

Automatic and “high-tech” electronic toothbrushes are safe and effective for the majority of the patients. Oral irrigators (water spraying devices) will rinse your mouth thoroughly, but will not remove plaque. You need to brush and floss in conjunction with the irrigator. We see excellent results with electric toothbrushes called Rotadent and Interplak.

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.

Fluoride toothpastes and mouth rinses, if used in conjunction with brushing and flossing, can reduce tooth decay as much as 40%. Remember, 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 gumline so these products have not been proven to reduce the early stage of gum disease.

Anti-plaque rinses, approved by the American Dental Association, contain agents that may help bring early gum disease under control. Use these in conjunction with brushing and flossing.

Professional Cleaning

Daily brushing and flossing will keep dental calculus to a minimum, but a professional cleaning will remove calculus in places your toothbrush and floss have missed. Your visit to our office is an important part of your program to prevent gum disease. Keep your teeth for your lifetime.