Why is oral hygiene so important?
Adults over 35 lose more teeth to gum diseases (periodontal disease) than from cavities. Three out of four adults are affected at some time in their life. The best way to prevent cavities and periodontal disease is by good tooth brushing and flossing techniques, performed daily.
Periodontal disease and decay are both caused by bacterial plaque. Plaque is a colorless film, which sticks to your teeth at the gum line and constantly forms on your teeth. By thorough daily brushing and flossing you can remove these germs and help prevent periodontal disease.
How to Brush Teeth
If you have any pain while brushing your teeth or have any questions about how to brush properly, please be sure to call the office at Sisters Office Phone Number 541-549-2011.
Dr. Frideres, Dr. Kawasaki and Dr. Everson recommend using a soft tooth brush. We believe electric toothbrushes are a great choice for optimal home care. Position the brush at a 45 degree angle where your gums and teeth meet. Gently move the brush in a circular motion several times using small, gentle strokes brushing the outside and inside surfaces of your teeth. Use light pressure while putting the bristles between the teeth, but not so much pressure that you feel any discomfort. Don’t forget to gently brush the surrounding gum tissue.
Change the position of the brush as often as necessary to reach and clean all surfaces. It can help to watch yourself in the mirror to make sure you clean each surface.
How to Floss
Periodontal disease usually appears between the teeth where your toothbrush cannot reach. Flossing is a very effective way to remove plaque from those surfaces. However, it is important to develop the proper technique. The following instructions will help you, but remember it takes time and practice.
Start with a piece of floss about 18” long. Lightly wrap most of the floss around the middle finger of one hand. Wrap the rest of the floss around the middle finger of the other hand.
To clean the upper teeth, hold the floss tightly between the thumb and forefinger of each hand. Gently insert the floss tightly between the teeth using a back-and-forth motion. Do not force the floss or try to snap it in to place. Bring the floss to the gum line then curve it into a C-shape against one tooth. Slide it into the space between the gum and the tooth until you feel light resistance. Move the floss up and down on the side of one tooth. Remember there are two tooth surfaces that need to be cleaned in each space. Continue to floss each side of all the upper teeth. Be careful not to cut the gum tissue between the teeth. As the floss becomes soiled, turn from one finger to the other to get a fresh section.
To clean between the bottom teeth, guide the floss using the forefingers of both hands. Do not forget the back side of the last tooth on both sides, upper and lower.
Do not be alarmed if during the first week of flossing your gums bleed or are a little sore. As you floss daily and remove built up plaque your gums will heal, become more healthy, and the bleeding should stop.
There are many different products and options available for flossing your teeth, just make sure you do it!
Caring for Sensitive Teeth
Sometimes after dental treatment, teeth are sensitive to hot and cold. This should not last long, but only if the mouth is kept clean. If the mouth is not kept clean the sensitivity will remain and could become more severe. If your teeth are especially sensitive consult with your doctor. They may recommend a medicated toothpaste or mouth rinse made especially for sensitive teeth.
Also remember to brush teeth gently with a soft toothbrush; brushing too firmly can lead to issues with sensitivity, especially at the gumline.
Choosing Oral Hygiene Products
There are so many products on the market it can become confusing and choosing between all the products can be difficult. Here are some suggestions for choosing dental care products that will work for most patients.
Electric toothbrushes are safe and effective for the majority of the patients. Oral irrigators (water picks) will rinse your mouth thoroughly, but will not remove plaque. You need to brush and floss in conjunction with the irrigator.
We recommend regular use of fluoride toothpastes and mouth rinses. If used in conjunction with brushing and flossing fluoride will reduce tooth decay.
Our office can provide a medicated mouth rinse, more concentrated than what is available over the counter, when indicated.
Professional Dental Cleaning
Daily brushing and flossing will keep dental calculus to a minimum, but a professional dental cleaning will remove calculus in places your toothbrush and floss may not be able to reach. Your visit to our office is an important part of a good oral health routine to prevent gum disease. Keep your teeth for your lifetime!