Why is oral hygiene so important?
Adults over 35 lose more teeth to gum disease (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 that sticks to and constantly forms on your teeth. By thorough daily brushing and flossing, you can remove these germs contained in plaque and help prevent periodontal disease.
Please choose a topic for more information to help you maintain good oral hygiene and overall health.
How to Brush
While brushing the outside surfaces of your teeth, position the brush at a 45-degree angle where your gums and teeth meet. Gently move the brush in a circular motion several times using small, gentle strokes. Use light pressure while putting the bristles between the teeth, but not so much pressure that you feel any discomfort. When you are done cleaning the outside surfaces of all your teeth, follow the same directions while cleaning the inside of the back teeth. To clean the inside surfaces of the upper and lower front teeth, hold the brush vertically. Make several gentle back-and-forth strokes over each tooth. Don’t forget to gently brush the surrounding gum tissue. Next, you will clean the biting surfaces of your teeth by using short, gentle strokes. Change the position of the brush as often as necessary to reach and clean all surfaces. Try to watch yourself in the mirror to make sure you clean each surface. After you are done, rinse vigorously to remove any plaque you might have loosened while brushing. If you have any pain while brushing or have any questions about how to brush properly, please inform our office: Quad City Prosthodontic Specialists Bettendorf Office Phone Number 563-332-3691.
How to Floss
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. Start with a piece of floss (waxed is easier) about 18″ long. 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, 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. Do not force the floss or try to snap it into place. Bring the floss to the gum line 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. Remember there are two tooth surfaces that need to be cleaned in each space. Continue to floss each side of all the upper teeth. Be careful not to cut the gum tissue between the teeth. As the floss becomes soiled, turn from one finger to the other to get a fresh section. To clean between the bottom teeth, guide the floss using the forefinger of both hands. Do not forget the backside of the last tooth on both sides, upper and lower. When you are done, rinse vigorously with water to remove plaque and food particles. Do not be alarmed if during the first week of flossing your gums bleed or are a little sore. As you floss daily, any discomfort should resolve.
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 toothpaste or mouth rinse made especially for sensitive teeth.
Choosing Oral Hygiene Products
There are so many products on the market that it can become confusing, and choosing between all the products can be difficult.
- Electric toothbrushes are safe and effective for the majority of the patients. We see excellent results with electric toothbrushes, such as the Oral-B Braun and the Philips Sonicare.
- 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.
- Some toothbrushes have a rubber tip on the handle which is used to massage the gums after brushing.
- There are also tiny brushes (interproximal toothbrushes) that help clean between your teeth and are particularly effective when cleaning around bridges.
- Fluoride toothpaste and mouth rinses, if used in conjunction with brushing and flossing, can help reduce the incidence of tooth decay. There are many types of toothpaste available. If you have any questions regarding the different kinds, we can help you determine which is best for you.
Good nutrition plays a large role in your dental health. Brushing and flossing help keep your teeth and gums healthy and strong. However, a balanced diet will help to boost your body’s immune system, leaving you less vulnerable to oral disease. The consumption of acidic foods and beverages should be avoided or minimized, as they have been shown to cause erosion of enamel and be particularly damaging to teeth. How often and what you eat have been found to affect your dental health. We are happy to answer any questions you may have regarding your nutrition: Quad City Prosthodontic Specialists Bettendorf Office Phone Number 563-332-3691.
Get the care you deserve!
Call us today with any questions or to schedule an appointment with Dr. David or Jennifer Fritz!