Periodontal disease (gum disease) is the leading culprit for adult tooth loss (over the age of 35); not cavities as one might presume. Proper oral hygiene is critical to avoid developing cavities or other problems, including gum disease and this can easily be done with regular, daily brushing and flossing.
Bacterial plaque is the cause of both tooth decay and gum disease. This plaque is not easily noticeable and can be discovered at the gum-line, stuck to your teeth. Our teeth are constantly being hindered by plaque as it forms regularly, every single day. Remove this plaque simply by flossing and brushing your teeth to keep your gums in top shape.
Proper Tooth Brushing
Not everyone brushes correctly; even adults. This is often a reason some people will develop diseases, even if they routinely brush and floss. You should hold your brush at a 45-degree angle when brushing the outside of your teeth. Move the brush gently, using circular motions and strokes. You can apply light pressure while brushing but don’t push too hard or you could experience pain or discomfort. Clean the inside of your teeth in the same manner as well as the back teeth.
Now you can make vertical brush strokes over the teeth and then thoroughly brush your tongue. The tongue holds a lot of bacteria and brushing it regularly can help prevent bad breath.
As children we’re told to floss by our parents and our dentist but we cannot stress the importance of flossing enough. Your toothbrush can only access the outside and inside surfaces of the teeth, but between teeth is another story. Flossing is the best way to remove the plaque built up between your teeth and any food particles that you may not see.
To floss you want to start with an 18” long piece of floss. We recommend wax floss but only because it’s easier to use. Lightly wrap the majority of floss around your middle finger. Now take your other hand and wrap the remaining floss around that middle finger.
Starting with the upper teeth, hold the piece of floss tightly with your forefinger and thumb, and gently slider the floss between your teeth. You want to move it back and forth to completely remove the plaque. You should not have to force the floss to go between your teeth.
You also need to remember that you will want to floss against each tooth you are between. Continue to do this to every tooth and don’t go too far or you might cause bleeding of your gums; you could also cut your gums and pain will follow. When you finish the top move on to the bottom, flossing in the same manner. You will want to get a fresh piece of floss when it becomes solid.
After flossing the teeth you should also rinse your mouth thoroughly to completely wash away the food particles removed by the floss. If you experience soreness for the first week or two after flossing do not be alarmed. Once you start flossing every day your gums will no longer be sore or bleed.
Oral Hygiene for Sensitive Teeth
Tooth sensitivity often occurs after any dental treatment so when a patient tries to eat or drink anything hot or cold, they may experience some pain. This is often temporary and won’t last if you take good care of your oral hygiene. However, if you aren’t brushing or flossing daily, or correctly, the sensitivity may not go away so easily and could actually worsen over time. You can call us if you’re dealing with problems related to sensitive teeth; we can help.
Selecting the Right Oral Hygiene Products
You might become overwhelmed when you browse the oral hygiene products readily available to the public. Regardless of the ‘claims’ of a product, it can be hard to know if it’s safe or even effective to use. We have come up with a few tips to help you choose the right products that are ideal for just about every person.
Electronic toothbrushes are an ideal option as they are effective and safe to use. Irrigating is helpful but cannot remove all of the plaque on its own. If you irrigate you will also want to floss and brush regularly in addition to irrigating. Braun and Phillips seem to be the brands that offer electronic toothbrushes that provide excellent results.
If you pay close attention, you will notice that some toothbrushes have a rubber tip on the handle or on the back of the head. This is for gum massage and tongue brushing.
Using products containing fluoride can help you lower your chance of tooth decay by up to 40% but children under the age of 6 should not use fluoride rinses. If you want to control tartar there are many products to help with the tartar that builds above your gum line. Unfortunately, periodontal disease develops from below your gum-line so these products might not help in preventing gum disease.
Regular Dental Cleanings
You should always brush and floss daily but scheduling regular dental cleanings can also boost your proactive measures of avoiding gum disease. Our dentists can completely remove plaque and calculus that were missed by your flossing and brushing.
Oral Hygiene & Your Diet
What you eat has a significant impact on your oral health. While regular flossing and brushing help keep plaque from building up you can also boost your oral health with a healthy balanced diet.
It’s been determined that starches will actually feed the bacteria already existing in your mouth. Once the bacteria starts feeding it starts producing acids which can harm your teeth. Sticky foods are also best avoided as they can encourage the acids to destroy your teeth enamel in a shorter amount of time. Luckily, you can continue enjoying your love of sticky and starchy foods when you consume them with or as part of a meal. Saliva helps rinse the food away which helps neutralize the acids.
Give Martindale Dental a call today if you need to schedule a cleaning or a consultation to discuss your dental needs.
Martindale Dental provides both general and specialty dentistry under one roof. For more than 20 years, our dentists have been advocates for their patients oral health care needs. Our dental offices are conveniently located in Toronto, North York, St Catharines, North York, Burlington, Milton East and Milton West, Ontario. We offer convenient before & after work and weekend appointments.