Dental Tips from your Hygienist

The main cause of tooth decay and periodontal disease is bacterial plaque.  Plaque forms continuously on your teeth and is a sticky colorless film.  By removing plaque daily with thorough brushing and flossing, you can prevent the damage associated with tooth decay and periodontal disease.  Periodontal disease is the major cause of adult tooth loss.

Brushing & Flossing

Manual - Choose a soft (not medium or hard) bristle brush with a small head.  Hard and medium texture can abrade the gum and cause recession.
Electric - Electric toothbrushes have been shown to be at least 25% more effective than manual toothbrushes when used correctly.
*** A worn old brush will not clean teeth properly.  Toothbrushes with bristles that are worn, bent or frayed should be replaced.  Toothbrushes should also be replaced after you have been sick, or had a cold or flu.
You should brush at least twice a day, using a fluoride toothpaste.  It is recommended you brush for at least two minutes.  Hold the brush like a pen, so you can't brush too hard.  Brushing gently for more time is more effective then scrubbing as fast as you can.  To clean the outside surfaces, hold the brush at a 45 angle to the tooth where the gums meet the tooth.  Using small circular strokes, gently move the brush back and forth using light pressure.  After cleaning the outside, use the same technique on the inside.  When you have completed the sides of all teeth, remember to brush the biting surfaces.  Brushing the tongue is helpful to also remove plaque and contributes to fresher breath.
Toothbrushing alone will not clean away all plaque because there are areas between the teeth that a brush cannot reach.  Flossing is the most effective way to reach these areas.  You should floss at least once a day.  Flossing may be difficult to master, but repetition will make flossing become easier.  Begin with a piece of floss that is approximately 18 inches long.  Lightly wrap most of the floss around the middle fingers of each hand, then grasp a length of about one inch between your thumb and index fingers.  Gently insert the floss between the teeth.  A slight "sawing" motion may be necessary to pass the floss between the tight contacts.  Curve the floss into a tight "C" shape pulling it against one tooth until you feel tight resistance.  Move the floss up and down against the side of the tooth, extending two to three millimeters below the gum.  As the floss becomes frayed or soiled, a turn from one middle finger to the other will bring up a fresh section of floss.

A friendly reminder....
Regular dental check-ups ensure a health mouth!!


Smile, Life is Good



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