Information about Taking Care of Your Teeth
We Have to Know about the Taking Care of Your Teeth
- The most important step in maintaining good oral hygiene is brushing and flossing your teeth regularly.
- Most of the teeth problems are caused by plaque, which is a sticky layer of microorganisms, food particles and other organic matter that forms on your teeth. Bacteria in plaque produce acids that cause cavities.
- The plaque also leads to periodontal (gum) disease in which there is the destruction of bone and the tissues surrounding teeth.
- The best defense is to remove plaque daily before it has a chance to build up and cause problems. Brushing removes plaque from the large surfaces of the teeth. Flossing removes plaque between teeth.
- Brush at least twice a day —Teeth should be brushed in the morning, either before or after breakfast, and just before sleeping
- Brush no more than three times a day — Brushing after lunch will give you a good mid-day cleaning but remember that brushing too often can cause gums to recede over time.
- Brush lightly — Brushing too hard can cause gums to recede. Try holding your toothbrush the same way you hold a pen. This encourages a lighter stroke.
- Brush for at least two minutes —Two minutes is the minimum time needed to adequately clean all your teeth.
- Always use a toothbrush with “soft” or “extra soft” bristles — The harder the brush, the greater the risk of harming gum tissue.
- Change your toothbrush regularly — As soon as the bristles begin to play, the toothbrush loses its ability to clean properly. Throw away your old toothbrush after three months or when the bristles flare, whichever comes first. If you find your bristles flaring much sooner than three months, you may be brushing too hard.
- Choose the right toothpaste for you — Toothpaste don’t merely clean teeth anymore. Different types have special ingredients for preventing decay, plaque control, tartar control, whitening, gum care or desensitizing teeth. Most toothpaste on the market today contain fluoride, which has been proven to prevent, stop or even reverse the decay process. Tartar-control toothpaste is useful for people who tend to build up tartar quickly, while someone who gets tooth stains may want a whitening toothpaste. Whitening toothpaste will remove only surface stains, such as those caused by smoking, tea or coffee. To whiten teeth that are stained at a deeper level, talk to a dentist.
How to Brush
Modified Bass brushing technique:
- Hold the head of the toothbrush horizontally against your teeth with the bristles part way on the gums.
- Tilt the brush head to about a 45-degree angle, so the bristles are pointing under the gum line.
- Move the toothbrush in very short horizontal strokes so the tips of the bristles stay in one place, but the head of the brush waggles back and forth. Or use tiny circular motions. This allows the bristles to slide gently under the gum. Do this for about 20 strokes. This assures that adequate time will be spent cleaning away as much plaque as possible. Note: this is a very gentle motion. In healthy gums, this should cause no pain. Brushing too vigorously or with large strokes can damage gum tissue.
- Roll or flick the brush so that the bristles move out from under the gum toward the biting edge of the tooth. This helps move the plaque out from under the gum line.
- Repeat for every tooth, so that all tooth surfaces and gum lines are cleaned.
- For the insides of your front teeth, hold the brush vertically. Again, use a gentle back and forth brushing action and finish with a roll or flick of the brush toward the biting edge.
- To clean the biting or chewing surfaces of the teeth, hold the brush so the bristles are straight down on the flat surface of the molars.
- Gently move the brush back and forth or in tiny circles to clean the entire surface. Move to a new tooth or area until all teeth are cleaned.
- Rinse with water to clear the mouth of food residue and removed plaque.
- You can clear even more bacteria out of your mouth by brushing your tongue. With your toothbrush, brush firmly but gently from back to front. Do not go so far back in your mouth that you gag. Rinse again.
- Flossing is important for maintaining healthy gums.
- Floss once a day
- Use as much as you need to clean both sides of every tooth with a fresh section because reusing sections of floss may redistribute bacteria pulled off from one tooth onto another tooth.
How to Floss
- The most common method is to wind the floss around the middle fingers then pull it tight and guide it with your index fingers. You also can wind it around your index fingers and guide it with your thumb and middle fingers.
- 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.
- 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 remove 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.
- Over-the-counter mouthwashes are available to freshen the breath, add fluoride or kill plaque bacteria that cause gingivitis.