New Freidell Oral Hygiene_912x170

Three out of four adults are affected at some time in their life to gum disease (periodontal disease) with adults over the age of 35 losing more teeth to this condition than from cavities (decay.)

Decay and periodontal disease are both caused by bacterial plaque. Plaque is the sticky, colorless film that constantly forms on the teeth and the surfaces lining the mouth. The bacteria in this plaque produce toxins and enzymes that cause the destruction of the teeth and irritate the gums causing inflammation. This inflammation can damage the attachment of the gums and bone to the teeth.

Good oral hygiene - brushing at least twice a day and flossing once a day - helps reduce plaque.

This will result in fresher breath, reduced tooth and gum problems, and a more confident smile!

Keep your teeth and gums healthy

  • Brush your teeth at least twice daily (after breakfast and before bedtime.) Brushing tips are found below.

  • Use dental floss daily (preferably before bedtime). Flossing tips are found below.

  • Clean your tongue regularly by using a toothbrush or a tongue scraper.

  • See Dr. Freidell for continuing care visits.

Click the links to the right to learn more about your oral health.

Brushing Tips

Brushing the outside surfaces of your teeth

  1. Position the brush at a 45 degree angle to the gum line (where your gums and teeth meet.)
  2. Move the brush in a circular motion using small, gentle strokes.
  3. Use light pressure while placing the bristles between the teeth and not to much pressure that you feel any discomfort.

Brushing the inside surfaces of your teeth

  1. Follow the same directions as above to clean the inside surfaces of the back teeth.
  2. When cleaning the inside surfaces of the upper and lower front teeth, hold the brush vertically and make several gentle back-and-forth strokes over each tooth and at the gum line.

Brushing the biting surfaces of your teeth

  1. Next you will clean the biting surfaces of your teeth by using short, gentle strokes.
  2. Change the position of the brush as often as necessary to reach and clean all surfaces.

Try to watch yourself in the mirror to make sure you clean each surface.

After you are done, rinse vigorously to remove any plaque you 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 our office.

 

Flossing Tips

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

Start with a piece of floss (unwaxed is better, waxed is easier) about 18” long. Lightly wrap most of the floss around the middle finger of one hand and then wrap the rest of the floss around the middle finger of the other hand.

To floss the upper and lower teeth:

  1. Hold the floss tightly between the thumb and forefinger of each hand.
  2. 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.
  3. Bring the floss to the gum line then curve it into a C-shape against one tooth.
  4. Slide it into the space between the gum and the tooth until you feel light resistance.
  5. 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.
  6. As the floss becomes soiled, turn from one finger to the other to get a fresh section.
  7. Do not forget the backside of the last tooth on both sides, upper and lower.
  8. 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 your 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.

 

Other Oral Health Considerations

There are disposable flossing aides that are very easy to use as well as very effective that can be used instead of regular floss.

If you need extra help controlling gingivitis and plaque that forms above the gum line, a recommendation may be made for using an ADA-accepted antimicrobial mouthrinse or other oral hygiene aids as an effective addition to your daily oral hygiene routine.

Eat a balanced diet for good general health and limit snacks.

Visit your dentist regularly. Professional cleanings are the only way to remove tartar (hardened plaque,) which traps bacteria along the gum line.

  • Good oral health starts with Dr. Freidell.

    Call us to set up an appointment today!