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Burlington Dentist Offering Oral Home Care

Tooth Brushes

  • 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.

Tooth Paste

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.

Cleaning Technique

  • 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 Rinse

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.

  1. Use about 18 inches of floss.
  2. 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.
  3. 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.
  4. Move to clean sections of floss as necessary.