When you are over the age of 35, you can lose more teeth because of periodontal disease than you will from cavities. The first and foremost way to prevent gum disease is to make sure you always practice the best oral hygiene that you can, to include flossing. Since three out of four adults are predicted to be affected by gum disease at some point in their life, daily oral hygiene is crucial.
Decay and periodontal disease occur because of bacterial plaque. What exactly is plaque, you may ask? It is a yellow-white, sticky film that easily develops and stays on your teeth around your gum line and causes gum problems. If you scrape a finger nail over your teeth, you may notice a yellow-white residue on your fingernail, that is plaque. Unfortunately, plaque is a common occurrence and can only be removed by daily brushing and flossing.
If you experience any pain when you brush your teeth or have any questions, please call the office today at 909-962-8828.
We recommend using an ultra-soft toothbrush. You’ll want to position your toothbrush at a 45-degree angle. Do so where your teeth and gums meet. Next, move the brush around in gentle, circular motions around the outside of your teeth. Gentle pressure should be applied. Follow these same instructions when you clean the inside of your back teeth for maximum results.
Hold your toothbrush vertically in order to brush the inside surfaces front teeth. Use back and forth brush strokes over every single tooth. You’ll also want to brush the gum tissue around your mouth.
It is highly recommended to use a Fluoride rinse after brushing your teeth. Do not eat or drink for 30 minutes after rinsing in the morning and allow the rinse to be the last thing you do before bed so that Fluoride can work over night to strengthen your teeth.
Finally, you will want to brush the biting surfaces of your teeth. Do so with easy, gentle strokes of the brush. Move the toothbrush around so that you can get all of the surfaces. It’s easier to brush your teeth when you are looking in the mirror so that you can see exactly what you are doing. When you are finished brushing, rinse your mouth vigorously with water to get rid of any loosened plaque.
Flossing is the best way to remove plaque in areas that your toothbrush isn’t able to reach. This is the also the best way to prevent periodontal disease, as this is usually where it occurs. The proper flossing technique is just as important as brushing, so take note of the following instructions to make sure you get it right. Remember, it may take practice and time before you can do it properly.
Waxed floss is the best type of floss to use. Start with a piece about 18” long. Lightly wrap both ends of the floss around the middle fingers of both of your hands. You’ll want to have a good grip on the floss, but not so tight that it hurts your fingers!
With the floss wrapped around your middle fingers, grasp tightly with both forefingers and thumbs. Gently glide the floss in-between each tooth by using a back-and-forth motion. You do not want to snap or force the floss. Gently bring the floss down to the gum line of each tooth and pull it into a “C” shape against one tooth at a time. Slide it up and down between the tooth and gum until a small bit of resistance is felt. Remember to get both tooth surfaces when you floss in each space. Be very careful that you do not pull the floss down roughly against your gums, as this can cut or irritate them. Your floss will become soiled, so make sure you unravel a little bit at a time to get a fresh spot to use.
After you have finished flossing, be sure to rinse your mouth out vigorously with water. This will remove the food particles and plaque that was loosened by the floss. When you first start flossing, you may notice that your gums are sore and they may even bleed easily. This is ok! You may be flossing too hard or hitting the gum line. Your gums will heal with the more plaque you take off on a daily basis, so in short time the bleeding should stop.
Teeth can be very sensitive to both cold and hot due to periodontal disease or after dental treatment. Keeping your mouth clean is the only way to make sure that this issue doesn’t last long. The sensitivity can remain and become worse if you do not practice oral hygiene every day.
Talk to us if your teeth are especially sensitive. We can recommend a special medicated toothpaste and/or a mouth rinse that is made just for those with sensitive teeth. We also offer desensitization in office, call us and we will be happy to discuss non-invasive teeth desensitization with you.
It can definitely become a confusing trip to the store when you are looking for the best oral hygiene product to use. Choosing between them all can be difficult, so let us help you with some suggestions.
An automatic electronic toothbrush is a safe and effective bet for most of our patients. We suggest two brands called Phillips Sonicare and Oral B. An oral irrigator, such as Interplak’s Waterpik, is great for rinsing away loose particles and delivering antimicrobial rinses to deep gum pockets, but will not get rid of plaque. We tell our patients to make sure they always brush and floss in conjuncture with using a water sprayer.
A toothbrush with a rubber tip on the handle can be used to massage your gums after you brush. You may also find smaller brushes, called interproximal brushes that you can use to clean the smaller areas between your teeth. These are designed for people with periodontal disease and should not be used by people with overall healthy gums. Ask us any questions you may have by calling our office at 909-962-8828!
Mouth rinses and fluoride toothpastes have the ability to reduce future tooth decay by as much as 40% when you use them properly. However, a mouth rinse isn’t recommended for kids under the age of six, as they may swallow them. Tartar control toothpaste will help you reduce tartar that forms above the gum line, but these products haven’t been proven to help reduce the early stages of gum disease. This is because gum disease starts below a person’s gum line.