Oral and dental hygiene is the issue often discussed in the dentistry cabinet. Everybody seems to have heard about the existence of toothbrush, dental floss and mouthwash, but the skills or knowledge of use differ.
However, GOOD and PROPER oral hygiene lays foundation to beautiful and healthy smile.
Toothbrush should be replaced in every 3 months, because after that the brush loses its ability to care for your teeth. Bristles droop and become brittle, shorter and change their shape, making it impossible for them to move along the dental surfaces or gum line properly and clean the oral cavity from food residue or plaque. Brush should not have too hard bristles to avoid harming enamel and gums. The latter will recede and expose the cement that covers the dental root, which is not as smooth as enamel, and provides good place for bacteria to attach.
The size and shape of the brush must allow movement in entire oral cavity, and clean the surfaces of front as well as rear teeth.
Correct brushing technique should remove plaque from all dental surfaces. Do not apply excess pressure on the brush, as this may bring along other problems, such as scratched enamel, traumatizing marginal gingiva and chipped enamel. Hold the brush so that the bristles are at a 45-degree angle, move along the teeth with circular brushing movements.
Keep in mind that teeth have more than one surface – there are five of them (occlusal/incisal, buccal, palatal or lingual and interdental).
Hold the brush like a pencil to avoid exerting excess pressure!
Pay special attention to rear surfaces of mandibular front teeth, as well as buccal sides of all teeth! Tongue also needs cleaning!
Caring for interdental surfaces is crucial to avoid caries and gingivitis. This requires special equipment: dental floss, picks, interdental brushes. You cannot rely on toothbrush here – it is not enough.
Dental floss is perfect for that purpose. Waxed floss does not traumatize gums or the neck of teeth. Moving the floss in interdental space should also follow certain rules, moving up to the gum edge and even to the bottom of sulcus. Repeat this movement at least twice per each interdental space.
Floss all gaps – from front to back.
Duration is essential when brushing teeth. Brushing should last 2-4 minutes and you should use that time consciously. Divide the mouth into sections: maxilla in two and mandible in two.
Then be aware of your actions while cleaning all dental surfaces.
It is good to use mouthwash. It removes food particles around the teeth (especially in case of wearing orthodontic devices) and refreshes breath. Special therapeutic fluids fight bacteria in sulci and in entire oral cavity. However, such mouthwash is not necessary unless you already have to deal with the consequences of dental problem, in which case it is also necessary to remove the cause of infection.
Mouthwash does not eliminate the need for brushing and flossing, it only supports them.
Proper oral hygiene is crucial to prevent gum diseases and teeth decay!