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Cleaning & Prevention
EFFECTIVE BRUSHING & FLOSSING
Brushing your teeth after every meal is an important part of dental hygiene. Because tooth position and gum condition vary, ask the dentist or hygienist which method would be best for you.
Here are a few general tips that are easy to remember:
• Hold the tooth brush at a 45 degree angle with end of bristles pointing toward your gums.
• Gently brush teeth with a circular motion
• Brush the outside & inside of teeth, tongue, surface and between teeth.
Forceful, back and forth, brushing can cause deterioration at the gum line, exposing the root surface and causing sensitivity.
• Soft, nylon bristle brushes are recommended.
• Brush 2-3 minutes, twice a day.
Why should I floss?
Effective flossing is a critical part of keeping your teeth healthy, maybe even more important than brushing. There are places between your teeth that can’t be reached with a tooth brush. When plaque accumulates in these areas, it can lead to gum disease and tooth decay. Floss removes plaque and debris that attaches to teeth and gums in between teeth, cleans tooth surfaces, and reduces bad breath. At your next dental visit, ask the dentist or hygienist to show you how to floss properly. One generally recommended technique involves bringing the floss up and down several times, forming a “C” shape around the tooth. Proper flossing will lead to healthier teeth and a greater likelihood of keeping all your teeth for life.
Sealants are a preventative step that many patients use to keep their teeth healthy. A dental sealant is the application of a thin, plastic coating on the surfaces of a patient’s back teeth (premolars and molars). The sealant provides a protective shield against decay and cavities. The irregular surface, pits, and grooves in molars create a trap for food and bacteria. Sealants fill in and cover the irregular surface of the teeth so that bacteria is less likely to stick and cause decay. Research has proven sealants to be highly effective in protecting the teeth from decay. Sealant effectiveness is decreased or lost when part or all of the bond between the tooth and sealant is broken. However, sealants hold up well under the force of normal chewing and usually last two to eight years before reapplication is necessary.