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Why Is Oral Hygiene So Important?

Oral hygiene not only helps maintain a pearly smile but also protects against decay and diseases. The mouth is the entry for many other non-oral diseases, as well, so keeping your mouth clean is crucial to overall exceptional health. Periodontal disease and decay are both caused by a buildup of bacterial plaque, which is a colorless film that constantly forms and sticks to your teeth. By brushing and flossing daily, you can remove germs and bacteria, helping to prevent various diseases and conditions.

woman sitting in dental chair

How to Brush Teeth

Using a soft to medium bristle toothbrush, position the brush at a 45-degree angle where your teeth meet your gums. Starting with the outer surfaces of your teeth, gently apply pressure and move the brush repeatedly in a circular motion. After brushing all of the outer surfaces of the teeth, repeat the same directions, cleaning the back of the teeth.

Now it’s time to clean the biting surfaces of the teeth. Repeat the same motion, changing the position of the brush as needed. Using a mirror helps to ensure that you don’t miss any surfaces. After you are done, be sure to rinse out your mouth so that any plaque you loosened up washes out.

How to Floss

Flossing is a very effective and essential way to remove plaque from your teeth surfaces where the toothbrush cannot reach. Following these directions to ensure that you are flossing correctly will put you on the path to exceptional oral hygiene!

Start with a piece of floss around 18” to 24” long. Next, lightly wrap the floss around your middle finger of one hand, followed by the other. Starting with the upper teeth, hold the floss tightly between the thumb and forefinger of each hand. Gently place the dental floss between the teeth. Using a back-and-forth motion, move the floss upwards in between the teeth until you reach your gums.

Next, curve the floss into a C-shape against one of the two teeth. Slide the floss up into the space between the gum and the tooth until you feel resistance. Move the floss up and down on the side of the tooth. Repeat the same process on the other tooth’s gumline. Continue to floss each side of all upper teeth, followed by the bottom teeth. As the floss becomes soiled, turn from one finger to the other to get a fresh section.

When you are done, rinse vigorously with water to remove remaining plaque and food particles. Do not be alarmed if during the first week of flossing your gums bleed or are a little sore. If your gums hurt while flossing you could be doing it too hard or pinching the gum. As you floss daily and remove the plaque, gums will heal and the bleeding should stop.

Caring for Sensitive Teeth

Sometimes after dental procedures, teeth can be sensitive to hot and cold foods and drinks. The sensitivity should not last long, however, if the mouth is kept clean. If proper dental hygiene is not practiced, the sensitivity will remain and could potentially become more severe. If you notice that your teeth are extremely sensitive, contact your dentist for further guidance and solutions.

Professional Dental Cleaning

Although a daily personal hygiene routine helps to keep dental plaque and bacteria to a minimum, dental check-ups/cleanings are extremely important for ensuring that your oral hygiene stays in pristine condition. Dental appointments help to evaluate and check on your dental hygiene routines. Not only do check ups provide you with a deeper cleaning than you could get at home, they also help to ensure that any onset signs of disease are recognized before the disease spreads and becomes worse.

Your Solution to a Better Smile