Oral Hygiene

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 interproximal (In between) cleaning 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 gumline. Plaque constantly forms on your teeth. By thorough daily brushing, flossing  and interdental cleaning you can remove these germs and help prevent periodontal disease.

A woman holding a toothbrush ready to brush her teeth

Our doctors highly recommend the use of an electric power toothbrush. Hold the electric brush at a 45 degree angle contacting the gum line. Be careful not to put too much pressure on the teeth and gums. Allow the brush to gently clean each tooth. Our staff will demonstrate proper use of the electric brush to meet your individual needs.

Additional Oral Hygiene Products

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

  •  Oral irrigators (water spraying devices) will rinse your mouth thoroughly, but will not remove plaque. You need to brush, floss and use interdental cleaners in conjunction with the irrigator.
  • Some toothbrushes have a rubber tip on the handle that is used to massage the gums after brushing. There are also tiny brushes (interproximal toothbrushes) that clean between your teeth. There are a variety of interdental picks and brushes available for use. Our staff will assist you in finding the best tools for you mouth.
  • 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.
  • Tartar control toothpastes will reduce tartar above the gum line, but because gum disease starts below the gum line, these products have not been proven to reduce the early stage of gum disease.
  • 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, flossing and interdental cleaning.

Our staff will help you select the products that are right for you.