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Oral Hygiene

Toothbrushing

A proper toothbrushing technique is essential for keeping your teeth and gums healthy.

Brush gently, thoughtfully and thoroughly. Doing this at least twice a day can help prevent decay by minimizing the debris and bacteria in your mouth.

Using a toothbrush that has bristles that are too hard, or an incorrect technique of brushing can cause your gums to be damaged during the toothbrushing process and can cause them to recede (gum recession) or cause destruction (abrasion) to the teeth and roots. It is important to choose a toothbrush with soft rounded polished filaments rather than medium or hard. We recommend changing your toothbrush at least every 90 days or after an illness.

Hold the toothbrush at a 45° angle so that the filaments reach the gum line. Brush with light pressure using small circular or vibrating movements. Brush the inside, outside and biting surfaces of the teeth, twice a day for at least four minutes if using a manual toothbrush.

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Power Toothbrushing

Divide your mouth into four quadrants. This can help ensure that you brush each section of your teeth and mouth cavity.

Place toothbrush bristles along gum line. Hold your toothbrush at a 45 ­degree angle to your gum line with a Sonicare or 90 degrees with an oscillating brush such as the Oral B. Applying gentle pressure, keeping the bristles in contact with your tooth surface and gum line, which can help ensure you get the most effective result possible. Stay on each area for 4­5 seconds, moving the brush only when it is time to go to the next area. Once you’ve completed this procedure for a quadrant, move to the inner surfaces of your teeth and repeat the same procedure.

To brush behind your front teeth, tilt the brush vertically using only the front half of your brush. Clean biting surfaces, your tongue, and soft palate. This can help remove debris and other odor ­causing bacteria.

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Cleaning between your teeth

Did you know that toothbrushing cleans only 60 to 65% of the tooth surfaces? The areas in between the teeth cannot be reached with a toothbrush. This is the primary cause for most gum disease and dental decay!! Make sure to also clean between your teeth every day.

Dental plaque, which consists of many different microbes and other materials, constantly forms between the teeth, which creates a safe place for the bacteria to hide and grow. The longer they are allowed to inhabit this space the more harmful they become. Your body will try to defend itself from them and begin an inflammatory response. The tissue will become sore and begin to bleed, leading to bone loss, and possibly decay. Traditionally, floss has been used to remove this disease producing bacteria. There are several different types of flossers to help those who are unable to be efficient with floss; and there are small interdental brushes and picks which also are effective in maintaining a healthy “interproximal” space.

FLOSSING

Typically the floss is wrapped around the 2 middle fingers and stretched to a 12 to 18 inch length. It is gently moved back and forth in the area where the teeth contact each other, gently wrapping it in a “C” shape around the side of the tooth. Once the floss is through this contact area it is gently moved under the tissue just until resistance is met. It is important not to “jam” the floss under the tissue, as this pulls on the periodontal ligament and can cause damage to the tissue and result in very sore gum tissue. At this point a cleaning stroke moves the floss away from the gum tissue toward the contact spot. Continue with this 6-8 times until a squeak can be heard and the tooth surface is clean. Then move the floss to the adjacent tooth and do the same. While traditional flossing methods are most effective, flossing aids, such as floss picks or Soft Picks (GUM), are available for those with dexterity issues.

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Interdental Brushes

What is an interproximal brush?

An interproximal brush, also known as a proxabrush, is a small brush specially designed for cleaning between your teeth. Using an interproximal brush every day, as a complement to toothbrushing and flossing is an easy and efficient method to keep your gums and teeth fresh and healthy. They come in different sizes so you can select the best fit. For patients that have had periodontal treatment as in scaling and root planing or surgical procedures the use of a proxa brush or soft pick helps to keep the tissue firm and pink.

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Rubber Tip

The GUM® Stimulator has been designed by dental professionals to promote healthy and firm gums by massaging the gingival tissues and stimulating the blood flow. It is a traditional method to maintain your gums in good health. It consists of two separate parts: a comfortable ergonomic anodized aluminum handle and a replaceable synthetic rubber tip stimulator. In addition to massaging the tissue it helps to dislodge food particles and dental plaque between the teeth.

  • Point the gum stimulator toward your gums at a 45 ­degree angle.
  • Run the rubber tip of the gum stimulator in a circle for 10 seconds between each tooth. Stimulate the gums by working the rubber tip back and forth along the gum line. Besides removing plaque, it stimulates your gums and helps with blood circulation.

Compared to traditional gum stimulators that use a metal handle with a disposable tip, the Plaque Buster is an innovative, one­piece, injection­molded design with no metal to scratch the user’s teeth. The device was designed for a comfortable overall feel.

End Tufted Brush

An end tufted brush is designed for hard­ to ­reach or simply difficult ­to­ clean areas where the dental plaque buildup will become harmful to teeth or gums, such as:

  • Exposed spaces between the roots of molar teeth due to periodontitis and gum recession, keeping furcations clean
  • Complex fixed dentures, bridges or dental implants that are inherently hard to clean
  • Orthodontic appliances
  • Difficulty in cleaning the back surfaces of the last teeth at the end of the dental arch at the back of the mouth
  • Other hard­to­reach areas identified by your dentist or dental hygienist

Cleaning the tongue:

The front portion of the tongue is pretty self­cleansing, however, the back portion can often collect more bacteria. You can use a toothbrush or a special tongue scraper. Tongue scrapers come in various designs. Be gentle. Don’t go too far back and stick to the center of the tongue and not the sides which are more delicate and prone to injury. If you have a sensitive gag reflex a tongue scraper will probably work better for you.

Do it daily. Just like brushing and flossing, frequency is key. Oral bacteria are constantly reproducing. Once you start doing it daily, you may find that your mouth just doesn’t seem as clean without doing it!

IMPLANT CARE

MAKE YOUR IMPLANTS LAST
Care for dental implants is just as important as caring for natural teeth. Thorough oral hygiene is necessary to prevent diseases around implants. With proper home care and regular professional maintenance, implants can last a lifetime.

There are many different “tools” to aid in cleaning implants. Our favorite aids include the end-tufted brush and Proxysoft Bridge and Implant floss.

Proxysoft bridge and implant floss 
The extra-thick size “proxy brush” portion of bridge and implant floss accommodates gum care issues ranging from moderate to severe gum recession and is also great for cleaning all dental appliances such as bridges, implants and braces.

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