- Oral Hygiene Instructions |
- Smoking & Gum Disease |
- Diabetes & Oral Health |
- Dietary Advice |
- Periodontics & Gum Disease
Oral Hygiene Instructions
The importance of an effective oral hygiene routine cannot be overemphasised. Brushing twice a day with fluoride toothpaste and flossing at least once a day, in conjunction with regular professional cleaning appointments with the St Vincent’s Dental Centre team will keep your teeth and gums healthy and your breath fresh.
There are two equally important reasons why we brush and floss:
- To clean away debris which bacteria can break down to produce acid by- products which will lead to decay.
- To clean away plaque from teeth. If plaque is not removed, an immune response in gums to bacteria in plaque can cause inflammation that if not controlled can lead to periodontal disease.
How to Brush
There are a few different methods considered acceptable when brushing your teeth. Whichever method you use, take the time to brush thoroughly with a recommended toothpaste every day. We recommend the following method to help maintain for dental health and easily getting rid of plaque:
- Place the head of your toothbrush beside your teeth, with the brush tips at a 45o angle against your gum
- Move the brush back and forth in short, semi-circle strokes several times
- Brush the outer surfaces of each tooth, top and bottom, keeping the bristles angled against your gum
- Use the same method on the inside surfaces of all the teeth, still using short back and forth strokes
- It is important to brush the chewing surfaces of the teeth and they will be constantly in contact with everything you put in to your mouth
- You must also clean the inside surfaces of the front teeth by tilting the brush vertically and make several gentle up and down strokes with the front part of the brush
- You should not forget your tongue, brushing it will help freshen your breath and clean your mouth by removing bacteria
The important thing with brushing and flossing , as with all things in life, is moderation. One has to brush and floss well enough to achieve the objectives of removing debris and reducing plaque levels adequately without being so excessive that one causes trauma to the soft tissues surrounding the teeth and or wears facets into the surfaces of teeth.
How to Floss
An essential part of your routine, flossing removes plaque from between the teeth, areas where gum disease can begin. It can sometimes feel a little awkward to floss, talk to us and follow the tips below to help you feel more comfortable in maintaining your oral health. To effectively floss, we recommend:
- Wind roughly 20cm of floss around middle fingers of each hand. Hold each end of the floss between your thumbs and index fingers, leaving about 2cm to 3cm of length in between. You should use your thumbs to direct the floss between your upper teeth
- Keeping the 2cm to 3cm length of floss nice and firm between fingers, use index fingers to direct the floss between the lower teeth
- Gently guide the floss between the teeth by using a zigzag motion. It is important to remember not snap the floss between your teeth but using a smooth and flowing motion around each side of the tooth
- Slide the floss up and down against your tooth surface and under the gum. This may feel awkward but it is important to get underneath the tooth to clean those areas