Burlington Dentist Offering Oral Home Care
- Bristles: Nylon bristles rounded at the ends; the softer the better.
- Head Size: Small compact head. A small head easily reaches small spaces of the mouth.
- Handle: If you can grip it you can use it.
- Brushing: Use gentle strokes moving slowly across teeth.
Using toothpaste is essential to oral hygiene. An effective way to evaluate a particular brand of tooth paste follows:
- Brush your teeth and rinse as you normally do
- Gently close your teeth together and rub slowly and deliberately
- If you can sense a gritty sandy feeling, the toothpaste you just used is too abrasive.
Any tooth paste that passes this simple test is acceptable.
- Clean outer surfaces tilting the brush to point toward the gumline; use back and forth strokes.
- Clean back teeth bite surfaces holding the brush flat against the surface; use back and forth strokes.
- Clean back teeth inner surfaces holding the brush horizontally; use back and forth strokes.
- Clean front teeth inner surfaces holding the brush vertically; use up and down strokes.
Mouth rinsing is a good idea for a feeling of cleanliness and freshness. Any oral rinse that does not burn the tissue or contain alcohol or sugar is acceptable, but commercially prepared oral rinses can be expensive. Finding a rinse that does not contain alcohol or sugar can also be time consuming.
An excellent mouthwash can be made very easily with the following recipe:
- One gallon of distilled water.
- Several drops of oil of cloves, peppermint, or spearmint.
- Sweeten to taste with stevia extract or saccharin.
Flossing and Tapes
There are many acceptable types; find some that you like, but don’t be afraid to use several styles. Use waxed or unwaxed nylon, Gore-Tex, cotton, or latex. Use any thickness you prefer. To make sure you floss all the teeth start behind the upper and lower poster teeth and work stepwise and sequentially toward the other side.
- Use about 18 inches of floss.
- Slide the floss between the teeth using a gentle sawing motion until it reaches just above the gum line. Curve the floss around the tooth and gently slide it in to the crevice between the gum and tooth.
- Scrape the sides of the tooth by sliding the floss along the tooth and away from the gum in a shoeshine motion until the enamel is “squeaky” clean.
- Move to clean sections of floss as necessary.