Oral Hygiene

Oral Hygiene

How to Brush Teeth

While brushing the outside surfaces of your teeth, 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. Use some pressure while putting the bristles between the teeth, but not so much pressure that there is any discomfort. When done cleaning the outside surfaces of all teeth, follow the same directions while cleaning the inside of the back teeth.

To clean the inside surfaces of the upper and lower front teeth, hold the brush vertically. Make several gentle back-and-forth strokes over each tooth. Don’t forget to gently brush the surrounding gum tissue.

Next, clean the biting surfaces of teeth. To do this, use short, gentle strokes. Change the position of the brush as often as necessary to reach and clean all surfaces. Try to watch in the mirror to make sure each surface is clean. After complete, rinse vigorously to remove any plaque which might have loosened while brushing.

If you have any pain while brushing or have any questions about how to brush properly, please be sure to call the office.

Oral Hygiene Products

There are many oral hygiene products on the market and choosing the right one can be difficult. Here are some suggestions for selecting dental care products that will work for most patients:

  • Electronic Toothbrushes (Sonicare, Oral-B, etc)- are safe and effective for the majority of users. We see excellent results with the electric toothbrushes “Rotadent” and “Interplak.”
  • Proxy Brushes- are small toothbrushes manufactured in varied widths, lengths and shapes. The device is made up of a plastic handle and a brush. For example, you can find proxy brushes that are as long as traditional toothbrushes that you use daily, or you can find proxy brushes that are shorter in length and shaped differently. Some brushes contain an indentation for your thumb to rest. This feature makes the device more comfortable to use. The brushes are disposable and can be thrown away when they are worn down.
  • Mouth Rinses- If used in conjunction with brushing and flossing, fluoride toothpastes and mouth rinses can reduce tooth decay by as much as 40 percent. Remember, these rinses are not recommended for children under six years of age. Anti-plaque rinses, approved by the American Dental Association, contain agents that may help control signs of early gum disease. Use these in conjunction with brushing and flossing.
  • Waterpik- Oral irrigators (water spraying devices) will rinse your mouth thoroughly, but will not remove plaque. You need to brush and floss in conjunction with the irrigator.

Dr. Bordlemay is the best person to help you select the products that are appropriate for you.

How to Floss Teeth

Periodontal disease usually appears between the teeth where a 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, but remember it takes time and practice.

Start with a piece of floss (waxed is easier) 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 forefinger of both hands. Do not forget the back side of the last tooth on both sides, upper and lower.

When you are done, rinse vigorously with water to remove plaque and food particles. Do not be alarmed if during the first week of flossing, gums bleed or are a little sore. If your gums hurt while flossing, you could be doing it too hard or pinching the gum. As you floss daily and remove the plaque, your gums will heal and the bleeding should stop.

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107 Grand Central Blvd, Suite 206
Pooler, GA 31322
(912) 988-1907

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