How to Brush

by on December 9, 2014 | Posted in Patient Education

While brushing the outside surfaces of your teeth, position the brush at a 45-degree angle where your gums and teeth meet. Gently move the brush in a circular motion several times using small, gentle strokes. Use light pressure while putting the bristles between the teeth, but not so much pressure that you feel any discomfort. 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. Remember to gently brush the surrounding gum tissue as well. To clean the biting surfaces of your teeth use 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 to remove any plaque you might have loosened while brushing. If you have any pain while brushing or have any questions about how to brush properly, please be sure to call our office.

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Flossing is a very effective way to remove plaque from between the teeth. However, it is important to develop the proper technique. The following instructions will help you, but remember it takes time and practice. Start with a piece of floss (waxed is easier) about 20″ long. Lightly 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 teeth. Remember the backside of the last tooth on both sides, upper and lower. 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

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If your teeth are especially sensitive consult with Dr. Connally. He may recommend a medicated toothpaste or mouth rinse made especially for sensitive teeth.

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Daily brushing and flossing will keep dental calculus to a minimum, but a professional cleaning will remove calculus in places your toothbrush and floss have missed. Your visit to our office is an important part of your program to prevent gum disease. You will want to keep your teeth for a lifetime.

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Good nutrition plays a large role in your dental health. Brushing and flossing help to keep your teeth and gums healthy and strong however a balanced diet will help to boost your body’s immune system, leaving you less vulnerable to oral disease. How often and what you eat have been found to affect your dental health. Eating starchy foods such as crackers, bread, cookies and candy causes the bacteria in your mouth feed on it, they then produce acids, which attack your teeth for up to 20 minutes or more. Also foods that stick to your teeth or are slow to dissolve give the acids more time to work on destroying your tooth enamel.

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• Limit Frequency of meals and snacks.
• Encourage brushing, flossing and rinsing.
• Watch what you drink.
• Avoid sticky foods.
• Make treats part of meals.
• Choose nutritious snacks.

The first baby teeth that come into the mouth are the two bottom front teeth. You will notice this when your baby is about 6-8 months old. Next to follow will be the 4 upper front teeth and the remainder of your baby’s teeth will appear periodically. They will usually appear in pairs along the sides of the jaw until the child is about 2 1/2 years old. At around 2 1/2 years old your child should have all 20 teeth. Between the ages of 5 and 6 the first permanent teeth will begin to erupt. Some of the permanent teeth replace baby teeth and some don’t. Don’t worry if some teeth are a few months early or late as all children are different. Baby teeth are important as they not only hold space for permanent teeth but they are important to chewing, biting, speech and appearance. For this reason it is important to maintain a healthy diet and daily hygiene.

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Bacteria found in plaque produces toxins or poisons that irritate the gums, which may cause them to turn red, swell and bleed easily. If this irritation is prolonged, the gums separate from the teeth, causing pockets (spaces) to form. As periodontal diseases progress, the supporting gum tissue and bone that holds teeth in place deteriorate. If left untreated, this leads to tooth loss. Daily brushing and flossing will prevent most periodontal conditions.

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The best way to prevent gum disease is effective daily brushing and flossing as well as regular professional examinations and cleanings. Unfortunately, even with the most diligent home dental care, people still can develop some form of periodontal disease. Once this disease starts, professional intervention is necessary to prevent its progress.

Other important factors affecting the health of your gums include:

• Smoking
• Diabetes
• Stress
• Clenching and grinding teeth
• Medication
• Poor nutrition

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Brush and floss daily. Maintain cleanings as instructed by your dentist and hygienist

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Brush and floss as you normally would. Don’t be afraid that you will damage your veneers by brushing and flossing. Non-abrasive toothpaste is recommended. A good home care regimen will insure the best aesthetic success of your veneer. You may experience some sensitivity to hot and cold after placement of your veneer. This is due to the amount of enamel left on the tooth after preparation. Sensitivity is totally normal and should dissipate after one to two weeks. If sensitivity persists please call our office. If you are a known clincher (bruxer), please be sure to let us know. We may recommend a soft night guard for you to wear to minimize stress placed upon your teeth while you sleep. We are confident that your new veneers will fulfill your aesthetic goal. With proper home care and scheduled visits, they are sure to provide you with a beautiful smile for years to come.

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