Cleaning & Prevention
As a practice, we are true believers that preventative care and education are the
keys to optimal dental health. Dental examinations are the cornerstone of good dental
health. Maintaining your oral health is the best way to avoid having to endure pain,
tooth loss, and costly restorative procedures in the future.
That’s why we focus on thorough examinations – checking and assessing the overall
health of your teeth, jaw, and gums, and performing oral cancer exams, and taking
x-rays when necessary. We also know that routine cleanings, flossing, sealants,
and fluoride are all helpful in preventing dental disease. Not only are we focused
on the beauty of your smile, we’re also concerned about your health. Following your
thorough evaluation, we perform a careful diagnosis and provide you with your own
individualized treatment plan. The result? A beautiful and healthy mouth that will
really give you something to smile about.
Brush up on Good Oral Hygiene
How is Good Oral Hygiene Practiced?
Maintaining good oral hygiene is one of the most important things you can do for
your teeth and gums. Healthy teeth not only enable you to look and feel good, they
make it possible to eat and speak properly. Good oral health is important to your
Daily preventive care, including proper brushing and flossing, will help stop problems
before they develop and is much less painful, expensive, and worrisome than treating
conditions that have been allowed to progress.
Most of us learnt to brush our teeth when we were children and have kept the same
technique throughout our lives. Unfortunately, many of us learned the wrong way.
Even if we learned the correct method, it's easy to become sloppy over the years.
Brushing correctly isn't instinctive. Getting the bristles to remove plaque without
damaging your gums is a little trickier than you might think.
At your next visit, one of our expert Dentist’s at Albert Square Dental can show
you the correct method of brushing to suit you. In the meantime, here are a few
general pointers about brushing:
Brush at least twice a day
Many oral health professionals recommend brushing just before going to bed. When
you sleep, saliva decreases, leaving the teeth more vulnerable to bacterial acids.
Teeth should also be brushed in the morning, either before or after breakfast, depending
on your schedule. After breakfast is ideal so food particles are removed. But if
you eat in your car, at work or skip breakfast entirely, make sure you brush in
the morning to get rid of the plaque that built up overnight.
Brush no more than three times a day
Brushing after lunch will give you a good mid-day cleaning. Remember, though, that
brushing too often can cause gums to recede over time.
Brushing too hard can cause gums to recede. Plaque attaches to teeth like jam sticks
to a wooden spoon. It can't be totally removed by rinsing, but just a light brushing
will do the trick. Once plaque has hardened into calculus (tartar), brushing can't
remove it, so brushing harder won't help. Try holding your toothbrush the same way
you hold a pen. This encourages a lighter stroke.
Brush for at least two minutes
Set a timer if you have to, but don't skimp on brushing time. Longer is fine, but
two minutes is the minimum time needed to adequately clean all your teeth. Many
people brush for the length of a song on the radio. That acts as a good reminder
to brush each tooth thoroughly.
Always use a toothbrush with "soft" or "extra soft" bristles
The harder the brush, the greater the risk of harming gum tissue.
Change your toothbrush regularly
As soon as the bristles begin to splay, the toothbrush loses its ability to clean
properly. Throw away your old toothbrush after three months or when the bristles
flare, whichever comes first. If you find your bristles flaring much sooner than
three months, you may be brushing too hard. Try easing up.
Electric is fine, but not always necessary
Electric or power-assisted toothbrushes are a fine alternative to manual brushes.
They are especially useful for people who are less than diligent about proper brushing
technique. As with manual brushes, choose soft bristles, brush for at least two
minutes and don't press too hard or you'll damage your gums.
Many people never learned to floss as children. But flossing is critical to healthy
gums and it's never too late to start. A common rule of thumb says that any difficult
new habit becomes second nature after only three weeks. If you have difficulty figuring
out what to do, ask your Albert Square Dentist to give you a personal lesson at
your next visit.
Here are a few general pointers about flossing:
Floss once a day
Although there is no research to recommend an optimum number of times to floss,
most dentists recommend a thorough flossing at least once a day. If you tend to
get food trapped between teeth, flossing more often can help remove it.
Take your time
Flossing requires a certain amount of dexterity and thought. Don't rush.
Choose your own time
Although most people find that just before bed is an ideal time, many oral health
professionals recommend flossing any time that is most convenient to ensure that
you will continue to floss regularly. Choose a time during the day when you can
floss without haste.
on't skimp on the floss
Use as much as you need to clean both sides of every tooth with a fresh section
of floss. In fact, you may need to floss one tooth several times (using fresh sections
of floss) to remove all the food debris. Although there has been no research, some
professionals think reusing sections of floss may redistribute bacteria pulled off
one tooth onto another tooth.
Choose the type that works best for you
There are many different types of floss: waxed and unwaxed, flavoured and unflavoured,
ribbon and thread. Try different varieties before settling on one. People with teeth
that are closely spaced will find that waxed floss slides more easily into the tight
space. There are tougher shred-resistant varieties that work well for people with
rough edges that tend to catch and rip floss.