Oral Hygiene

Oral Hygiene

How to properly brush your teeth

While you are brushing the outside of your teeth you will want to position the brush at a 45 degree angle where your gums and teeth meet.  Gently move the brush in a vertical motion from the gum tissue to the teeth using small gentle strokes several times.  You will want to apply a little pressure so as to not feel uncomfortable or any pain. When you complete brushing the outside of your teeth then complete the same procedure for the inside of your teeth.  If you have any type of pain while brushing your teeth, you are advised to call us and schedule an appointment.

How to floss

Periodontal disease will usually appear between the teeth where your toothbrush cannot reach.  Flossing is a very effective way to remove plaque from all surfaces where a toothbrush cannot reach.  The more you floss the more you will become better trained at getting to reach all those hard to reach areas.

You will want to start with a piece of floss about 18-20” long and 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, simply 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.  Gently bring the floss to the gum line and then curve it into a C-shape against one tooth.  Slide it into the space between the gum and the tooth until you feel light resistance.  Move the floss up and down on the side of one tooth.  You will want to remember there are two tooth surfaces that need to be cleaned in each space.  Continue to floss each side of all upper teeth and be careful not to cut the gum tissue.

To clean the between the bottom teeth, simply guide the floss using the forefinger of both hands.  Also, please do not forget about the back side of the last tooth on each side.  

When you have finished flossing, rinse vigorously with water to remove plaque and any food particles.  Do not be alarmed if in the first or second week you experience your gums bleeding.  The tissues will heal in a relatively short period of time.  If you experience continued bleeding after flossing, please call and schedule an appointment.  

Caring for sensitive teeth

Some patients after a dental treatment will feel that their teeth are sensitive to hot and cold.  If the patient continues afterward to keep their mouth clean by using proper dental cleaning methods (brushing & flossing) the sensitivity should not last long.

Dry Mouth

Dry mouth, called xerostomia, is characterized by a decrease in saliva.  Dry mouth is a common effect of certain medications, health conditions and much more.  It can be caused by lifestyle choices, medical conditions and biological changes in one’s body.  Left untreated, dry mouth puts your mouth at risk for serious dental problems.  Saliva is responsible for washing away food particles, keeping your oral tissues moist and fighting cavity-causing bacteria.  Factors associated with dry mouth…

Dehydration: Not drinking enough water

Sports & exercise:  Intensive exercise is notorious for dry mouth•Cigarettes & chewing tobacco: These products can create dry mouth by cutting down one’s salivary flow and destroys cavity-fighting antibodies

Alcohol: One drinking shots or gargling with an alcohol-based mouthwash may dry out your oral tissues

Illegal Drugs: Heroin, cocaine and amphetamines can all leave the mouth dry and vulnerable to decay

Dry mouth can be relieved by…

  • Drinking more water
  • Brush & floss twice a day
  • Eat regular meals
  • Avoid alcohol, caffeine, carbonated beverages and smoking
  • Avoid overly salty foods
  • Use artificial saliva (available at local pharmacy)
  • Visit your dentist on a regular basis
  • If your dry mouth continues after treatment, consult your doctor and dentist.  Dry mouth can be a sign of a serious illness.