Oral Hygiene Tips

Techniques for Daily Hygiene

How to properly brush your teeth:

Proper brushing and flossing is the key to peak dental hygiene, and the fact is – you might be utilizing improper techniques.

Fear not, help is on its way! Follow the steps below and become a true master of your dental health.

Simple steps that everyone forgets:

Simple beginnings: Wet your soft bristled toothbrush with water and apply a thin line of toothpaste on the bristles.

Begin with the outer surfaces of your teeth: Gently brush your upper then lower teeth. Take your time and go tooth-by-tooth. You’re less likely to miss spots if you spend an average of 5 seconds per tooth.

Tilt your brush: Adjust your grip to where you’re holding the toothbrush at a 45-degree angle. Brush against the gumline using gentle, wide strokes to remove trapped plaque and food particles.

Brush the inner sections: Using the same gentle, wide strokes from the previous step proceed to clean the inner surfaces. It’s tempting to skip the inner sections of your teeth because they’re not as visible – but we promise that they are just as vulnerable to plaque and bacteria.

Clean the chewing surfaces: Use short back and forth strokes to remove any build-up. Once again, take your time to ensure you’re properly cleaning each tooth.

Finish strong: Using gentle back and forth motions, clean the surface of your tongue. This not only helps freshen breath but ensures that any harmful bacteria is eradicated. Be sure to also clean the inside of your cheeks and roof of your mouth as those are common places that are ignored.

Rinse and Repeat: Follow these steps twice a day to improve and maintain your dental wellness.

(Tip: There is a danger of overbrushing so be sure that you are not overdoing it!)

How to properly floss your teeth:

The ADA (American Dental Association) surveyed a portion of the population back in 2018 and it showed that 68% of people only floss once a week. Improper flossing technique – or lack thereof- is linked to many different health issues such as gum disease, health disease, and even increases your risk for strokes. Grab your floss and follow these steps below at least once a day.

Step 1: Gather 18 – 24 inches of dental floss and wind the majority of it around both of your middle fingers leaving a couple of inches to wrap around your teeth.

Step 2: Hold the floss taught with your thumbs and index fingers and proceed to slide the floss around a tooth.

Step 3: Pull the floss back towards the inside of your mouth and slide it up and down your tooth two to three times. You want to make sure you’re getting all the plaque buildup and possible food particles off the surface of your tooth.

Repeat these steps until all of your teeth have been flossed. As you move from tooth to tooth, use a clean section of floss. Be careful not to apply too much pressure while flossing as you can cut your gums.

Proper Denture & Partials Care:

Proper denture care is important for both the health of your dentures and mouth. Follow the tips below to avoid damage to your gums and dentures or partials.

Remove and rinse dentures after eating. Run water over your dentures to remove food debris and other loose particles. Dentures and partials should be handled with care so it’s a good idea to lay down a towel over the sink to avoid them falling on hard surfaces.

Clean your mouth after taking out dentures or partials. Use a soft-bristled toothbrush on any natural teeth. Clean your tongue, cheeks and roof of your mouth. If you use denture adhesive be sure to remove any remaining product.

Like natural teeth, dentures and partials should be brushed daily. The real difference is that you should not use any toothpaste when cleaning dentures and partials. Toothpaste is abrasive and can cause small scratches on the more delicate material. Simply use a wet soft-bristled brush to clear away food and plaque. Clean the grooves that fit against your gums as well to avoid gum irritation.

Soak dentures overnight. Most types of dentures need to stay moist to keep their shape. Place the dentures in water or a mild denture-soaking solution overnight.

Rinse dentures thoroughly before putting them back in your mouth. Denture cleaning solutions can contain harmful chemicals that cause vomiting, pain or burns if swallowed.

In addition to implementing these techniques at home, be sure to schedule regular yearly checkups at our dental office!

Recommended Products

Choosing the right toothpaste:

Picture yourself standing in the dental hygiene aisle at the store staring at the thousands of colorful boxes of toothpaste. How are you supposed to pick a single toothpaste from all of the boxes containing promises of a whiter smile and stronger enamel? The choice is easier than you may think.

For the best protection choose a toothpaste that contains a higher percentage of fluoride, is low on the abrasion scale, and has the official ADA seal of approval.

The idea of a brighter and better smile can be a very attractive thought, but not one that matters when compared to the damage a high abrasive toothpaste can cause.

insert abrasiveness chart

We do suggest that if you insist on using one of the stronger whitening toothpastes, that you alternate it with one that is much less abrasive. (Tip: If you are finding that you are the victim of mouth ulcers try a toothpaste with a lower concentration of Sodium Lauryl Sulfate.)

Choosing the right toothbrush:

Imagine that you are in the dental hygiene aisle again, this time you’re looking at the mountain of various toothbrush options. Most of the packaging boasting about extra bristles or built-in tongue scrapers.

The hard truth is that none of the extra bristles really matter. You can go as fancy as you want to with toothbrushes, but the best choice will always be one with soft bristles. Mechanical toothbrushes are a good option for people with limited mobility and range, but not necessarily otherwise.

Choosing the right floss & mouthwash:

In the case of dental floss, it is best to stick to the classics. The most effective dental floss is just the standard wax-covered floss that you can grab at most stores for under a dollar. You can use the floss picks, but it’s harder to get the floss to hug the tooth as you need it to. If you have limited mobility or prefer using a floss pick, we suggest using the longer flossers with the wider heads.

In regards to mouthwashes, look for ones that contain fluoride. Fluoride prevents tooth decay and strengthens tooth enamel. Using a mouthwash that contains antiplaque, antibacterial, antimicrobial, or anti-gingivitis ingredients can help prevent a host of serious dental issues such as gingivitis and gum disease. We suggest staying away from whitening mouthwashes as they can break down the tissue of your cheeks and make your teeth hyper-sensitive.

Choosing the best denture products:

There are dozens of denture products available, and most of them will get the job done efficiently. No matter what you use, make sure that you thoroughly rinse dentures and partials after soaking them before placing them into your mouth.

To brush dentures we suggest using nothing but water and a soft-bristled toothbrush. You can use just about any denture solution as long as it has the official ADA seal. Dentures should stay secure with just water and a proper fit to your gums, but if you are more comfortable with using a denture adhesive, we would suggest using a gel form.

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