Oral Hygiene

Ineffective oral hygiene can be, depending on the host response, a large contributing factor for periodontal disease. Immediately after brushing and flossing, dental plaque biofilm begins to form again on the tooth surface called the acquired pellicle.

Acquired pellicle helps protect the tooth against acids but it can also attract other bacteria. Ineffective self-care allows for this layer to build up and mature. As a result, harmful, pathogenic (disease-causing) bacteria become more prevalent. This process plays a significant role in the destruction of the periodontium (gums and bone surrounding the teeth). This is why self-care is so important. It is crucial to remove the acquired pellicle and the beginning stages of biofilm accumulation, before it has a chance to mature and spread.

Acquired pellicle helps protect the tooth against acids but it can also attract other bacteria. Ineffective self-care allows for this layer to build up and mature. As a result, harmful, pathogenic (disease-causing) bacteria become more prevalent. This process plays a significant role in the destruction of the periodontium (gums and bone surrounding the teeth). This is why self-care is so important. It is crucial to remove the acquired pellicle and the beginning stages of biofilm accumulation, before it has a chance to mature and spread.

How to Properly Brush

Most of us learned to brush our teeth as children and have been brushing the same way into adulthood. Horizontal scrubbing with heavy force against the teeth should be avoided. It is traumatic to the gums and teeth.

The following brushing technique is effective and beneficial for all types of patients:

  • Place a soft toothbrush at a 45 degree angle toward the gumline
  • Press and hold the bristles gently and move the brush with small, circular motions.
  • Pick the brush up, advance to the next two to three teeth and repeat.
  • Food debris and plaque biofilm can be thoroughly removed using this method.

How to Properly Floss

Daily flossing helps disrupt plaque between the teeth beyond the reach of the toothbrush bristles.

  • To floss effectively, use about 18 inches of floss wound around your middle fingers
  • The rest wound around the opposite middle finger. Your hands should be a couple of inches apart for greater control.
  • Hold the floss firmly between the thumbs and pointer fingers and gently insert it between the teeth.
    Try not to snap the floss between the teeth as this can injure the gum tissue.
  • Curve the floss into a “C” shape against the side of the tooth. Rub the floss gently up and down, keeping it pressed against the tooth.
  • Each flossing area has two tooth surfaces to clean. Repeat for the remaining teeth and include the areas behind your back teeth.
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