Best Practices For Oral Hygiene
Oral hygiene is extremely important not only for the health of your teeth but also for your overall health. Oral Hygiene refers to the exercise of keeping your teeth, gums, and mouth clean and healthy to prevent disease. We’re going to go over how to oral hygiene the right way.
How To Brush Teeth
Refresh your smile with our brushing basics. Remember: the position of your toothbrush is important as you clean your teeth. Always use short, easy strokes, and don’t forget to brush your gums too.
While you brush your outside teeth surfaces, keep your brush at a 45-degree angle that starts where your teeth and gums meet. For inside tooth surfaces, you’ll brush vertically to better reach them. And, for the biting surfaces and molars, moving your brush to different angles will help you clean all the surfaces.
If you’re not sure you’re doing it correctly, watch yourself in the mirror. Once done, rinse out your mouth well to remove anything loosened as you brushed. Give our office a call if you experience any pain while cleaning your teeth, or if you have questions about the process.
How To Floss
Flossing is a fantastic way to help prevent periodontal disease. By reaching between your teeth to where your toothbrush can’t reach, it removes plaque and helps prevent decay and other problems. With the right instructions and practice, you’ll find it’s an easy task.
Use a length of floss that’s around 18”. The waxed variety is easier to work between your teeth. Start the process by wrapping one end of the floss around the middle finger of your left hand, and then your right hand. Leave enough floss to work within the middle.
Now, grip a section of the floss between your thumb and index finger on each hand. Start with your upper teeth. Slide the floss between the teeth using a gentle back-and-forth. Don’t force it – but move it down to the gum.
Pull the section of floss forward around the front tooth, and move it up and down to clean the tooth. Then, repeat the same movement for the back tooth. Remember that there are two separate surfaces to clean between each pair of teeth you floss.
As the section of floss gets dirty, unwind the floss from your finger to get a fresh one. For lower teeth, use your index fingers to guide the floss into place, and use the same back-and-forth to get teeth clean. Don’t forget to floss the backside of your very back teeth on both top and bottom. Once done, rinse well with water to remove any particles and plaque.
For the first week or so of daily flossing, you may notice that your gums are sore or bleeding. After that first 7 days, your gums will heal, and any bleeding should cease.
Caring For Sensitive Teeth
Occasionally, teeth feel sensitive to heat or cold after you’ve had dental treatment. The solution is to keep your mouth and teeth clean – if you do this, the sensation should fade away. You may notice that the sensitivity persists or gets worse if you’re not keeping up with cleanliness. If you’re experiencing this, please get in touch with our office – we can recommend a medicated toothpaste or rinse to help with the problem.
Choosing Oral Hygiene Products
When you’re pursuing good dental health, the selection of toothbrushes, toothpaste, and more can be overwhelming. Dr. Malek is happy to help with some suggestions that will work for most of her patients.
Automatic and electronic toothbrushes have a lot to recommend them. They’re safe and effective. Oral irrigators, like Waterpik, are also a big help. The stream of water will help thoroughly rinse your mouth – but it doesn’t remove plaque. Always continue with your regular brushing and flossing routine!
Special toothbrushes: You might have questions about toothbrushes with a rubber tip on the handle for cleaning gums, or the tiny brushes (called interproximal brushes) that clean between teeth. Both can be harmful to your gums if used improperly – please go over their proper use with our office.
Fluoride toothpaste and rinses can help reduce tooth decay substantially when you combine them with correct brushing and flossing. Just remember that children under 6 should avoid fluoride.
Tartar control toothpaste formulas help cut down on tartar – but only above the gums. Since periodontal disease begins below the gumline, don’t depend on them to do all the work that flossing, brushing, and regular check-ups will.
Anti-plaque rinses are approved by the American Dental Association and can help reduce plaque and prevent early gum disease. Just like other products, use them only in conjunction with good oral health practices, and keep brushing and flossing.
How Can Dr. Malek Help?
Contact Malek Periodontics today to schedule an appointment and be on your way to a healthy smile, healthy life.