Dental and oral hygiene is a topic that is discussed in dental offices time and time again. Everyone knows about toothbrushes, toothpaste, dental floss and mouthwash, however, not everyone knows how to use them properly.
Yet GOOD and PROPER oral hygiene is the foundation of a beautiful and healthy smile.
Toothbrushes should be replaced every three months as they lose their effectiveness at cleaning your teeth after that time. The bristles become bent, shorter, misshapen and frayed. Therefore, they will not move along the teeth and gums as well as they used to and are less effective at removing food particles and plaque from your teeth. The bristles should not be too firm as they might damage the enamel and gums. The latter will recede and expose the cementum of the tooth root which is not as smooth as enamel, thus providing good conditions for bacterial growth.
The size and shape of the brush should effectively allow you to reach even the farthest teeth.
A good brushing technique will remove plaque from all dental surfaces. There is no need to apply too much pressure as that will create more problems, such as scratched enamel, gum damage or even chipped enamel. Place the toothbrush at a 45-degree angle to the gums and use sweeping or circular motions to clean the teeth.
Keep in mind that teeth have five surfaces: distal, facial/buccal/vestibular, incisal/occlusal, lingual/palatal, and mesial.
If you hold the toothbrush like a pencil then you will not be able to apply too much pressure.
Pay special attention to the lingual surfaces of the lower incisors and the facial surfaces of all teeth! The tongue also needs to be cleaned!
Interdental cleaning is very important to prevent the development of caries and gingivitis. There are special tools for this purpose: dental floss, toothpicks and interdental brushes. Using only a toothbrush is not enough in this case – it cannot reach those areas.
Dental floss is designed for this purpose. Waxed floss does not damage gums of the necks of teeth. There is a specific technique for flossing between the teeth and to do it properly you need to floss the base of each tooth, making sure you go beneath the gum line. Do this at least twice in each space.
Floss each space between your teeth, front and back.
Time is also important when brushing your teeth. You should brush your teeth for about 2–4 minutes while being conscious of your technique. Divide your mouth into sections: upper right, upper left, lower right and lower left.
Then clean all dental surfaces while paying great attention to your technique.
It is beneficial to use mouthwash. It helps to remove remaining food particles from your mouth (it is especially important if you wear orthodontic appliances) and freshens your breath. Therapeutic mouthwashes help reduce bacteria in the gum line and the entire mouth. However, such mouthwashes are used to reduce the consequences of an existing problem, in which case it is important to remove the cause of inflammation.
Mouthwash does not eliminate the need for tooth brushing, it is simply a great additional step in your oral hygiene routine.
Practise good oral hygiene to prevent periodontal diseases and tooth decay!
Schedule an appointment and our oral hygienist will help you.