To obtain the best results while brushing teeth, holding your toothbrush at a 45 degree angle, positioning the brush between the gums and the teeth. Using small, circular strokes, apply gentle pressure to the brush. Do not forget to brush the inside of the back teeth by stroking your brush in a vertical position. Also, it is essential to brush the gum tissues that surround the teeth.
Follow the same directions when brushing the biting surfaces of the teeth, manipulating the brush in order to cover all surfaces. Once finished, rinse your mouth thoroughly with water to extract possible plaque that remains on the teeth or gums.
Call your dentist in the event that you experience any pain while brushing your teeth.
How to Floss
Because it is sometimes difficult to cover all surfaces while brushing teeth, it is essential to also floss daily in order to prevent periodontal disease. Flossing, like brushing, has important techniques that patients must practice and follow in order to ensure healthy teeth and gums.
Wrap an 18-inch piece of floss around your middle finger, using the middle finger on the other hand to hold the remainder of the floss. Waxed floss is recommended for optimum results. Once the floss begins to disintegrate and spoil, use the other finger to reel in a clean strand.
Next, using both forefingers, floss the bottom teeth, including the back side of the last tooth in all corners of the mouth.
Again, thoroughly rinse your mouth after flossing to rinse off any remaining plaque. Bleeding and soreness are common side effects, but should subside after prolonged daily flossing.
Caring For Sensitive Teeth
Increased sensitivity to hot and cold foods is common following a visit to the dentist, but should subside if the mouth is kept clean. Sensitivity will increase if the mouth is not clean. If you notice prolonged, substantial sensitivity, consult your doctor. Medicated toothpaste and mouthwash is available for those with particularly sensitive teeth and gums.
Choosing Oral Hygiene Products
Choosing the right oral hygiene products particular to you is important to obtain maximum benefits.
In particular, many patients prefer electronic toothbrushes as an effective way to brush their teeth. Still, these oral irrigators are not sufficient in removing the majority of plaque. For this reason, flossing your teeth is highly recommended.
The rubber tip of the toothbrush is often used to clean the gums. In addition, interproximal brushes are utilized between the teeth to remove plaque. When used in the wrong way, gums may become irritated, potentially damaging gum tissue.
Fluoride toothpastes and mouthwash has been found to reduce the risk of tooth decay by as much as 40%. Still, the products have no affiliation with preventing gum disease and should only be used by patients over six years old.
Gum disease may be more actively prevented by the use of anti-plaque rinses. These mouthwashes, if approved by the American Dental Association, should be used alongside daily brushing and flossing.
A professional cleaning is essential in ensuring the maximum removal of calculus, even if a patient brushes and flosses their teeth on a daily basis. Because your periodontist can eliminate calculus between spaces that may be overlooked, it is important to schedule regular visits to check for and interrupt the development of gum disease.
When to See a Periodontist
Consulting a periodontist is often recommended by your dentist or dental hygienist, especially if signs of the development of periodontal disease are apparent. Still, you may make a personal decision to visit the periodontist in order to seek specific treatment and prevent such progression.
It is highly recommended that you consult a periodontist as soon as you experience any of the following symptoms in order to ensure the health of your teeth and gums:
- Bleeding while consuming certain foods that are otherwise part of your normal diet or while brushing your teeth and gums are the most common indicators of periodontal disease.
- Foul breath that persists even after daily oral hygiene is often a symptom of the development of periodontitis, gingivitis,
or other infections of the gums.
- A receding gum line and teeth that are loose both show signs of the disintegration of oral bones, and are predecessors to periodontal infections.
- As previously discussed, individuals with specific health conditions including diabetes, osteoporosis, and heart disease have an increased vulnerability to developing periodontal disease.
Mucosa, the smooth, pink lining found inside the mouth is often an accurate indication of oral infection or disease. If mucosa appears abnormal in any way, it is important to consult a professional to disconfirm the development of oral cancer. Signs and symptoms that oral cancer is a possible diagnosis include:
- Patches of red or white found within the mouth.
- A mouth sore that bleeds upon minimal contact and doesn’t go away
- A lump inside the mouth
- Reoccurring sore throat
- Difficulty in swallowing or chewing food
Any of these signs should be consistently checked for around the gums or tongue, on the lips, inside the cheeks, and on the face or neck. Though abnormal facial and oral pain can be indications of oral cancer, pain is not always a precursor to a diagnosis. For this reason, it is highly recommended that each patient frequently conduct an at-home examination and is aware of the recognizable symptoms. Contact Dr. Raschkovsky immediately if you notice any irregularities or have further questions.