Oral Hygiene

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Why is oral hygiene so important?

On average adults older than 35 lose more teeth from untreated gum diseases (periodontal disease) than cavities.Up to 75% of adults are affected at some point in their life from gingivitis. gum diseases and periodontal disease. Good home care is a must and the most effective way to preventing gingivitis and periodontal disease is brushing and flossing techniques, performed daily along with seeing a dentist and register dental hygienist at least once a years. Ideally dental patients are seen very six months for a through cleaning.

Gum and Periodontal disease caused by bacterial plaque along with tooth decay. Plaque is a yellowish bio film, that sticks to your teeth and accumulates at the gumline. Plaque constantly forms on your teeth day and night. By thorough daily brushing and flossing you can remove these germs and help prevent periodontal disease.

Professional Cleaning

Daily brushing and flossing will keep plaque and dental calculus to a minimum. A professional cleaning by a RDH registered dental hygienist will remove calculus in places your toothbrush and floss can not reach. Dental check ups is an important part of your oral hygiene plan to prevent and treat gum disease. So you can keep your teeth for your lifetime.

How to Brush

If you have any pain while brushing or have any questions about how to brush properly, please be sure to call the office at (303) 794-6800.

Drs. Cavanaugh and Becker recommend using a soft bristle toothbrush. Position the brush at a 45 degree angle where your gums and teeth meet. Move the brush in a circular motion several times using small, gentle strokes brushing the outside surfaces of your teeth. Use light pressure while putting the bristles between the teeth. To much pressure with brushing can cause gum rescission and exposed root surfaces. After you are done cleaning the outside surfaces of all your upper and lower teeth, follow the same brushing method while cleaning the inside of the back teeth.

To clean the inside surfaces of the upper and lower front teeth, hold the brush vertically. Make several gentle back-and-forth strokes over each tooth. Don’t forget to gently brush the surrounding gum tissue.

Next you will clean the biting surfaces of your teeth by using short, gentle strokes. Change the position of the brush as often as necessary to reach and clean all surfaces. Try to watch yourself in the mirror to make sure you clean each surface. After you are done, rinse vigorously to remove any plaque you might have loosened while brushing.

How to Floss

Periodontal disease,gum disease and gingivitis normally appears where your teeth teeth meet together and where your toothbrush cannot reach. Flossing twice a day is a very effective way to remove plaque from those surfaces. It is important to develop this habit and the proper technique. The following instructions will help you, but please ask our RDH with techniques questions.

Start with a piece of floss (waxed is easier) about 20″ long. Wrap most of the floss around the middle finger of one hand. Wrap the rest of the floss around the middle finger of the other hand.

To clean the upper teeth, hold the floss tightly between the thumb and forefinger of each hand. Gently insert the floss tightly between the teeth using a back-and-forth motion. Do not force the floss or try to snap it in to place. Bring the floss to the gum line then curve it into a C-shape against one tooth. Slide it into the space between the gum and the tooth until you feel light resistance. Move the floss up and down on the side of one tooth. Remember there are two tooth surfaces that need to be cleaned in each space. Continue to floss each side of all the upper teeth. Be careful not to cut the gum tissue between the 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 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 your gums will heal and the bleeding should stop.

Caring for Sensitive Teeth

Sometimes after dental treatment, teeth are sensitive to hot and cold. This should not last long, but only if the mouth is kept clean. If the mouth is not kept clean the sensitivity will remain and could become more severe. If your teeth are especially sensitive consult with your doctor. They may recommend a medicated toothpaste or mouth rinse made especially for sensitive teeth.

Choosing Oral Hygiene Products

Sonic and water picks greatly increase the quality of your home care. Spending money on an electric tooth brush is always cheaper than a filling or dental crown.

When used in conjunction with Fluoride toothpastes and mouth rinses you can reduce tooth decay as much as 35%. Remember, these rinses are not recommended for children under six years of age. Tartar control toothpastes can cause tooth sensitivity but will reduce tartar above the gum line. Gum disease starts below the gum line so tarter build up below the gum line must be removed by a RDH.

Please ask to speak with your dental hygienist during your check up to answer your brushing and flossing questions.

Dental cleanings in Littleton Colorado by your Littleton Family Dentist .