Practice Good Hygiene Techniques at Home

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July 10, 2014 by kasia

For the average person, we recommend dental hygiene visits every 3 to 6 months depending on your individual needs. In between these hygiene visits it is very important to practice proper at home dental hygiene to maintain a healthy smile. I have put together these tips and techniques which we recommend to our patients to help with achieving dental health.
Brushing:
1) Choose a brush size according to your mouth size. The smaller the mouth the smaller the brush. There’s no use trying to brush with a big brush in a small mouth, chances are that brush will not fit all the way in the back.
2) Choose a brush with soft bristles. Many people often make the mistake of using a hard bristled brush because they feel as the harder the bristles the cleaner they can get their teeth, but in reality they are doing more damage then anything. Hard bristle brushes can cause damage to the gums which can eventually cause gum recession.
3) Brush gently. Vigorous brushing has the same effect as a hard bristled brush and can also erode tooth enamel.
4) Brush your teeth 2-3 times per day and brush for 2 minutes each time. Plaque only takes 24 hours to harden in to tartar at which point can only be removed by a dental hygienist
5) Brush should be placed along the gumline at a 45 degree angle touching both your gums and teeth. Use a circular or up and down motion brushing the plaque away from the gum line where it likes to collect most and remember to brush gently. Avoid a side to side motion which can irritate gums.
6) Your teeth have more then one surface so don’t forget to brush the chewing surface, the cheek side and the tongue side. The pits on the chewing surfaces can be brushed with short strokes.
7) Be sure to brush your tongue and palate where bacteria can collect and cause bad breath.
8) Toothpaste has fluoride so try to only spit out excess toothpaste instead of rinsing to maximize topical fluoride intake.
9) Replace your toothbrush every 3 months
Flossing:
1)The length of floss to use should be the distance from your hand to your shoulder
2) Wrap floss around your index finger and middle finger leaving a gap of about 5-10cm between.
3) Move the floss up and down the side of each tooth wrapping the floss along the tooth in a “C” shape, pushing the floss under the gum line.
4) Pull the floss out the side of the tooth rather then up through the top. This will ensure debris is being pulled out with the floss.
5) For patients with a bridge, a floss threader is recommended. A floss threader works along the same line as a needle threader, floss can be pulled through the head of the threader and the threader with floss can be easily pushed under the bridge. The same motion applies for cleaning under a dental bridge.

By applying these methods in to a daily routine along with your scheduled dental hygiene cleanings you can prevent tooth decay or loss, gum disease and bad breath and keep your beautiful smile for life!