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Home Teeth Care

Overview

People are beginning to care good care of their personal oral hygiene, which in conjunction with regular dental checkups and care, help people to save their teeth longer. Several systemic diseases may influence teeth survival, but if we care for our teeth we play a greater role in their survival. Proper home oral hygiene measures can help overall oral health, which can also influence systemic disease(s). Dental plaque causes the majority of oral diseases, which include dental caries and the periodontal diseases (gingivitis and periodontitis). Dental plaque is the sticky material that adheres to the teeth and gums, and is formed from bacteria, food particles and organic debris. Consuming fermentable carbohydrates, the bacteria in the plaque will form acids and eat away at the enamel of the tooth. Dental bacteria and their by-products also contribute greatly to gum diseases, by stimulating molecules that cause inflammation. If allowed to progress, this can cause tooth loss. Therefore, performing oral hygiene correctly can eliminate dental plaque and keep your teeth healthy.

Tooth Brushing

During childhood, we were shown how to brush and floss our teeth by our parents, and probably stayed with the same habits. Some of these oral hygiene techniques were probably wrong, and added to that, we probably got even lazy and rushed. We need to relearn good brushing and flossing techniques, and stick with them to maintain our teeth. Numerous brushing styles were developed and tested, and your dentist and/or dental hygienist will demonstrate the tooth brushing techniques that suit you the best. The modified Bass technique is the technique that is taught to adult patients, resulting in efficient plaque removal from the teeth and gums. In contrast, it is more difficult to instruct children on how to properly brush and floss their teeth. However, as a parent, it is your responsibility to make sure that your children remove dental plaque from their teeth and gums. Your dentist and/or dental hygienist will teach you and your children the proper techniques, but it is your responsibility to make sure that they carry out these techniques. Make sure that you watch your children brush if they are less than ten years old.

Instructions for Brushing Your Teeth

  1. Brush twice daily. Many dentists and dental hygienists suggest brushing your teeth before or after breakfast, and at night before bedtime. Brushing and flossed after breakfast is the best time, so that plaque that built up during the night and food debris can be adequately removed. Brushing and flossing before bedtime is important to remove plaque and food debris that built up during the day, during to salivary reduction while you sleep. Overnight, your teeth are more susceptible to dental caries.
  2. Brush three or less times per day. If possible, brush your teeth after breakfast, after lunch, and prior bedtime if possible. Brushing too often, may lead to gingival recession.
  3. Use a soft to medium brush, and be gentle . Using a hard bristle brush while brushing your teeth can lead to gingival recession over time. Plaque, composed of bacteria, food debris and other elements, can't be completely removed with just rinsing. Using a soft or medium brush will allow you to remove dental plaque during early formation, If not properly removed; plaque will form tartar and calculus, which your dentist and/or dental hygienist must remove with their instruments. By holding your toothbrush like a pen, you will be applying less pressure while brushing.
  4. Brush for two minutes each time . Many electric toothbrushes have a 2 minute timer that tells you when 2 minutes are up. If brushing manually, use a watch or timer so that you know when you have brushed for 2 minutes. You may extend your brushing time, but two minutes is usually all the time that is required to properly remove dental plaque from your teeth. Make sure that you brush for at least two minutes.
  5. Use similar brushing technique every time you brush . Use the same brushing techniques every day. Many dentists believe that this will help people to brush all areas of their mouths. This will help tooth brushing to become a daily habit. It is suggested that you brush your teeth in a specific order on top, and then repeat this on the bottom teeth.
  6. Use a soft or extra soft bristle toothbrush. Harder bristle brushes can damage your gums.
  7. Regularly change toothbrushes. When your bristles become splayed, buy a new brush, as it can no longer properly clean your teeth and gums. Change your toothbrush at least every 3 months, or when the bristles are splayed. If the bristles don't look right prior to 3 months, you may be over brushing (i.e., using too much pressure). Be gentle, but be effective!
  8. Select toothbrushes that carry the ADA seal of Approval. Basically, any style or type of brush is good if it is used properly and performs its function. More often than not, it is the way the teeth are brushed and not the type of brush that determined adequate and proper plaque removal from the teeth.
  9. Electric toothbrushes are good, but aren't necessary. Electric toothbrushes are good, especially for individuals who cannot handle a manual toothbrush or has physical limitations. Soft bristle brushes should be used with these electric toothbrushes, and you should brush for at least 2 minutes. A lot of the research shows that electric toothbrushes are better at cleaning teeth than manual toothbrushes. This is most likely due to the electric toothbrush having a two minute timer, and once someone turns something on, such as an electric toothbrush, they spend more time brushing their teeth. Make sure that you don't damage your gum tissue.
  10. Select the best toothpaste for your own needs . So many different toothpastes are available, that is can be hard to select the correct one. The right toothpaste for your needs may not be the right toothpaste for another individual.

Toothpastes now contain added ingredients to perform additional functions besides just cleaning the teeth. They contain specific constituents for teeth desensitization, whitening, gum care, decay prevention, and controlling plaque and tartar.

The majority of toothpastes available to consumers contain fluoride as an active ingredient to prevent and help to quash the process of tooth decay. Specific toothpastes are available for specific dental problems, such as those that control tartar, or whiten teeth by removing surface stains. Visit your dentist if you require your teeth whitened below the tooth surface. As you begin to age, your dental needs will change, and your dental hygienist and/or dentist may suggest a different type of toothpaste than that you are used to. Make sure that the toothpaste you are using is approved by your local dental association. You can then choose a toothpaste that has a good taste to you and feels good. You decide! Several individuals feel irritation to their gums, tongue, and teeth when brushing with toothpaste. If this occurs, use a different toothpaste. But if the problem persists, contact the dentist.

Brushing Your Teeth and Gums

Try to Modified Bass technique of Brushing:

  1. Place the toothbrush, head horizontal to the teeth with some of the bristles touching the gums.
  2. Angle the head of the brush to a 45 degree angle, with some bristles angled under the gum line.
  3. Brush using small strokes keeping the bristles in one position, and moving the head of the brush horizontally. You can also use small spherical movements. With these motions, the bristles should go slightly below the gum line. Continue this motion for 20 times, at this will assure that the maximum amount of plaque will be removed. Make sure that you brush gently without pain. Toothbrushing too hard can leave the gums sore and damaged.
  4. Move the toothbrush in a rolling motion toward the biting surface of the teeth in order to clean below the gums and remove the maximum plaque.
  5. Repeat this procedure for each tooth of the mouth, to make sure that the teeth and gums are properly cleaned.
  6. To clean the inside surfaces of the front teeth, reposition the brush in your hand so that it is vertical to your teeth. Holding the brush vertically, repeat the above procedures for removing plaque from your teeth and gums.
  7. Cleaning your teeth's biting surfaces by holding the toothbrush comfortably angled straight down or up on the flat surfaces of your premolars and molars.
  8. Move the brush straight and in tiny circular motions over the entire biting surfaces of all of the teeth until they are clean.
  9. Rinse your mouth to flush away food debris and loose plaque.
  10. You should also brush your tongue, but make sure not to gag yourself, and then rinse with water again.

Flossing your Teeth Numerous individuals were never shown how to floss their teeth during childhood. Flossing is crucial for the maintenance of healthy gums; it's not too to begin flossing. Any newly formed habit will become easy after a few weeks. While at your dentist or dental hygienist have them give you a personal lesson.

Several flossing suggestions follow:

  1. Floss daily. Dentists and dental hygienists suggest flossing once daily, however the jury is still out as to how many times a day is best. Also floss after meals if you have a tendency to collect food between your teeth.
  2. Don't Rush When Flossing. Good flossing practices take time and coordination.
  3. Select a Regular Time to Floss. Select the best time for you to floss and try to set up a routine so that you do not forget to floss, and have floss with you. Dentists and dental hygienists feel that one of the better times to floss during the day is prior to bedtime.
  4. Don't Be Cheap with the Floss . Pull off about 18 inches of floss, and move along the length of the floss while cleaning each side of your all of your teeth, even the back side of the last teeth. Try not to reuse sections of floss, as it is believed that you may redistribute the bacteria to other areas of your mouth. Though, no research exists that demonstrates this belief.
  5. Select Floss That Performs What You Want It To. Numerous flosses exist including unwaxed, waxed, thin thread, thick ribbon, flavoured, unflavoured, super floss, etc. Find the floss that best suits you and your oral hygiene needs.

Flossing Instructions

You may hold your floss anyway that you like, as long as your get the job done. You can also use other flossing instruments such as floss guiders or threaders if you are having difficulty and physically cannot floss due to arthritis or other medical condition(s).

  • Hold the floss so that a short segment is ready to work with.
  • Guide the floss gently between two teeth. If the fit is tight, use a back-and-forth motion to work the floss through the narrow spot. Do not snap the floss in or you could cut your gums.
  • Hold the floss around the front and back of one tooth, making it into a "C" shape. This will wrap the floss around the side edge of that tooth.
  • Gently move the floss toward the base of the tooth and up into the space between the tooth and gum.
  • Move the floss up and down with light to firm pressure to skim off plaque in that area. Do not press so hard that you injure the gum.
  • Repeat for all sides of the tooth, including the outermost side of the last tooth. Advance the floss to a clean segment for each tooth edge.

Additional Interdental Cleaning Methods

Some individuals require dental aids to adequately remove plaque and food debris from between the teeth. These are known as interdental cleaners. Larger interdental spaces may require interdental brushes or Super floss. These brushes contain small bristles and are designed for your needs. Choose the ones that are right for you. It may take you a few tries using different sizes or designs to find one that works best for you. If you are wearing orthodontic brackets and wires, teeth cleaning can be more difficult, especially interdental cleaning. There are also wooden wedges and toothpicks that have been useful to clean interdentally. These long, triangular strips of wood can be softened and used to clean between teeth. These interdental cleaning tools are available over-the-counter at many pharmacies, etc.

Other At Home Cleaning Tools

    The following supplemental tools may be recommended by your dentist or dental hygienist:

  1. Oral irrigators: Oral irrigators pump water onto the teeth and between the teeth, in either a continuous stream or pulsating action. It may be difficult for them to remove plaque, but they do an excellent job at removing food debris and by-products of bacteria. They are helpful at washing out periodontal pockets, and are especially helpful for those wearing traditional orthodontics. You can also use prescription oral rinses and over-the-counter mouth rinses. The irrigators should not be used instead of brushing and flossing, but as a supplement.
  2. Interdental tips: These can be found on the end of the handle of a toothbrush or can be found separately on a special tool. They are made of rubber and are used to gently clean food debris and plaque interdentally and slightly below the gum line.
  3. Mouth rinses: Mouth rinses are often used to mask bad breath and tastes, prevent plaque accumulation, and help protect against dental decay. They usually don't wash well. Mouth rinses are divided into therapeutic, cosmetic, or both. Cosmetic mouth rinses are found over-the-counter and are helpful for removing food debris, masking bad breath, and reducing bacteria in the mouth. Therapeutic mouth rinses also have the above benefits; however contain additional ingredients that can be protective against several oral diseases. In contrast to cosmetic mouth rinses, therapeutic mouth rinses are controlled by a government body. These mouth rinses are classified into either: 1) anti-plaque or anti-gingivitis mouth rinses; and 2) fluoride mouth rinses that fight cavities.