Oral Hygiene Made Simple

By Dr. Carson P. Keally
January 12, 2015
Category: General Dentistry

Many times the topic of proper oral hygiene can seem like a daunting task, which toothbrush, how long to brush, what rinse, etc.  The New York Times recently published an article about the proper way to brush your teeth, coming to the conclusion that many of the experts are disagreeing about proper techniques (link below).  This article got us thinking about our oral hygiene recommendations, in terms of brushing technique we believe in the Modified Bass technique, holding the bristles at a 45 degree angle to the teeth/tissues and moving in small circular motions.  Flossing once a day and brushing twice a day is the gold standard, we try to live by it and we hope our patients due too.  Both Dr. Catron and Dr. Keally use electric tooth brushes that have a timer and a red light that indicates if you are brushing too hard, brushing too hard can lead to gingival (gum) recession, enamel abrasion and possibly sensitivity of your teeth.

There are other things that you can do throughout the day to improve your oral hygiene, freshen your breath and hopefully avoid having cavities at your next visit! Below is a short list of tips:

  • Rinse with water (preferably tap water) after meals and drinks.

    • This will help remove the food debris, sugars, acids and bacteria from the surfaces of your teeth.The fluoride in the tap water will also decrease the acidity levels in your mouth which can lead to decay and cavities.

  • Brush your tongue – the tongue can harbor food debris and bacteria contributing to halitosis (bad breath).

  • Decrease sugary snacks between meals.

    • The bacteria within your mouth use sugar as a source of energy and eventually to produce acid.By decreasing the snacks between meals you rob the bacteria of their sugar and prevent them from causing cavities.We won’t tell you to completely stop eating sugar (that’s not realistic), but if you only have sweets during meal times you reduce the length of time the sugar is available to the bacteria.

  • For every can/bottle of soda you drink have one large glass of water as well.

  • Brush and floss your teeth right before you go to bed and do not eat or drink sodas after you brush, we want your teeth to be as clean as possible overnight.If you need a drink during the night, water is recommended.

  • Maintain regular dental visits

    • At each of your dental visits we will evaluate your home care, detect any small issues and hopefully prevent the development of larger problems requiring more extensive treatment.

As you can see many of these tips are to avoid sugar being in contact with your teeth for extended periods of time, by lowering the amount of time the sugar is on your teeth you are able to decrease your risk for tooth decay.  The only way to properly clean between your teeth is to floss, flossing will also help you avoid having gingivitis or periodontitis.  Flossing may be uncomfortable at first, but as you floss more and more the tissues will become healthier and any discomfort will decrease. You can also find more information on http://2min2x.org/

If you have any questions about these topics or any others please give our office a call at 859-744-0200 or you can email [email protected] and Dr. Keally will be happy to respond.

Here is the link to the article: http://well.blogs.nytimes.com/2014/08/15/best-way-to-brush-your-teeth-experts-disagree/?_php=true&_type=blogs&_php=true&_type=blogs&_r=1&

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