Maintaining your oral health
How to brush
When brushing, it is important to use a good quality electric toothbrush or a soft bristle manual brush. While brushing the outside surface of the teeth, position the brush at a 30-45 degree angle where your gums and teeth meet. Gently move the brush in a circular motion several times using small, jiggling strokes. Use vigorous pressure while putting the bristles between the teeth. This may ultimately cause some discomfort and bleeding, but these symptoms will lesson after a few days using this correct technique.
How to floss
Periodontal disease usually appears in between the teeth where the toothbrush cannot reach. Flossing is a very effective way to remove plaque from not only between the teeth, but also from below the gum line. Interproximal brushes (TePe, Piksters) are a cross between a toothpick and a toothbrush. They effectively remove plaque from between the teeth, however they don’t replace floss entirely as floss can go underneath the gums unlike interproximal brushes. Small diameter interproximal brushes can be used to clean down the furcation sites (splits or gaps between roots).
Choosing oral hygiene products
As there are so many products on the market it can become confusing, and choosing between all products can be difficult. Here are some suggestions for choosing dental care products which will work for most patients:
- Oral irrigators (water piks) will flush out your mouth thoroughly, but will not remove plaque. A fine film of plaque adheres to root surfaces. You need to brush and floss in conjunction with the irrigator. We also see excellent result with electric toothbrushes.
- Fluoride toothpastes and mouth rinses, if used in conjunction with brushing and flossing, can reduce tooth decay by as much as 40%. However, please remember these rinses are not recommended for children under six years of age.
- Tartar control toothpastes will reduce tartar above the gum line, but gum disease starts below the gum line so these products have not been proven to reduce the early stage of gum disease.
TePe interdental brushes
Tepe interdental brushes are for cleaning in between the teeth where 90% of the plaque builds up. They are not to replace floss, but to use in conjunction with floss. Floss has a very small surface area so TePe brushes are to brush the gaps in-between teeth and mop up any residual plaque left behind by floss. These are especially useful for patients with larger gaps in the mouth where floss will only retrieve the smallest film of plaque. Patients with larger gaps need a brush with a large surface area to remove all the food and plaque between their teeth. TePe brushes ensure efficient cleaning and are durable, lasting up to one week for one brush. All sizes have plastic coated wire for gentle and safe cleaning.