Our periodontist, Dr. Norman B. Fine, knows how important it is for you to maintain good oral health, which is why we provide these instructions for dental hygiene in Greenville and Anderson, South Carolina.
How To Brush
Start brushing the outer surface of your teeth by holding your toothbrush at a 45-degree angle to your teeth and gums. Use small, circular strokes to clean your teeth. Remember to put some pressure on your teeth, but not too much or else you may cause enamel erosion and gingival recession. After cleaning the front surface of your teeth, repeat these steps with the inside surface.
When brushing the inside surface of your front teeth, hold your brush at a vertical angle and clean with back-and-forth strokes. Remember to gently brush your gum tissues as well to clean off bacteria.
You will use short, gentle strokes to brush the chewing surface of your teeth. Try to alter the angle of your toothbrush to make sure you reach all of the surfaces and grooves in your smile. Watch yourself brush in the mirror to make sure you reach all parts of your teeth. Rinse vigorously afterwards to get rid of loosened food and plaque. Feel free to call Fine Periodontics if you have any questions about brushing.
How To Floss
A toothbrush cannot reach in between your teeth, and it is in these areas that periodontal disease often develops. However, you can still prevent it by flossing between your teeth following the steps below.
Pull out about 18” of floss and wrap most of it around one of your middle fingers and some around the other. You will pinch the floss tightly between your forefinger and thumb, gently sliding it up between your teeth with back-and-forth motions. Do not snap the floss in, because doing so can damage you gum tissue. When you reach the gum line, curve the floss away from the gum tissue into a C-shape against one of your teeth, sliding between it and the gum. You will move the floss gently up and down against the tooth. Repeat on the other side and use a new section of floss once a portion of it becomes dirty. Don’t forget to clean the back parts of the last teeth in your mouth.
After flossing, rinse your mouth vigorously with water to clean away any food or plaque. When you first start flossing between your teeth, you may experience some bleeding and soreness. This is normal and will eventually stop.
Caring For Sensitive Teeth
After undergoing a dental treatment, some of your teeth may feel sensitive to heat, cold, and pressure. If you follow a good oral hygiene routine, then this problem should dissipate with time. However, if you do not regularly brush and floss your teeth, then your sensitivity may worsen. Please contact us if you are suffering from extremely sensitive teeth. We may prescribe a medicated toothpaste or mouthwash to fix this problem.
Choosing Oral Hygiene Products
There are many dental products available that promise to give you excellent dental health and a bright smile. These numerous products can confuse some, so we offer a brief and simple guide to help you learn more about some of them:
- Electric toothbrushes are an effective tool for cleaning your teeth, especially automatic and high-tech ones like Rotadent and Interplak.
- Oral irrigators can help to clean your mouth and improve your oral health, but they should not replace routine brushing and flossing.
- You can massage your gum tissues if your toothbrush has a rubber tip on its handle designed for this use. There are also interproximal toothbrushes available that are small enough to clean in between your teeth. Call our periodontist to see if you can benefit from these brushes and how to use them.
- Products containing fluoride, like toothpaste and mouthwash, can help to reduce cavities by 40%. Please remember that children younger than six should not use a mouthwash.
- There are tartar-control toothpastes available that reduce the amount of tartar, but they only work above the gum line, not below it where periodontal disease usually develops.
- There are anti-plaque mouthwashes available which can help to control gingivitis if used with routine brushing and flossing.