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Holistic Dentist Orlando FL - Dental Health

Oral Hygiene

Why Is Oral Hygiene So Important?

Adults over 35 lose more teeth to gum disease (periodontal disease) than from cavities. Three out of four adults are affected at some time from tooth brushing and flossing techniques.

Periodontal disease and decay are both caused by bacterial plaque. Plaque is a colorless film that sticks to your teeth at the gum line. Plaque constantly forms on your teeth. By thorough daily brushing and flossing, you can remove these germs and help prevent periodontal disease.

How To Brush

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. We highly recommend that our patients use a SONICARE TOOTHBRUSH, as we feel it is far superior to hand brushing. We have several models available in our office for the convenience at a cost lower than in retail stores.  We have replacement heads for you that most patients purchase at their periodic cleaning appointments.

 

How To Floss

Periodontal disease usually appears between the teeth where your toothbrush cannot reach. Flossing is a very effective way to remove plaque from those surfaces. 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 18" 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 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.

To clean between the bottom teeth, guide the floss using the forefinger of both hands. Do not forget the backside of the last tooth on both sides, upper and lower.

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 can be sensitive to hot and cold. This should not last long, provided your mouth is kept clean. If your 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.

Professional Cleaning

Daily brushing and flossing will keep dental calculus (tartar) 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. Keep your teeth for your lifetime.

Nutrition

Apples - restorative dentist healthy nutrition

Good nutrition plays a large role in your dental health. Brushing and flossing help 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 to feed on it. They then produce acids, which attack your teeth for up to 20 minutes or more. Foods that stick to your teeth or are slow to dissolve give the acids more time to work on destroying tooth enamel.

Starchy Foods:

  • Crackers
  • Breads
  • Cookies
  • Candy

Sticky/Slow to Dissolve Foods:

  • Granola bars
  • Chewy fruit snacks
  • Dried fruit
  • Hard candy
 

Sticky and starchy foods create less acid when eaten as part of a meal.  Saliva production increases at mealtime, rinsing away food particles, and neutralizing harmful acids.

Foods such as nuts, cheese, onions, and some teas have been shown to slow growth of decay causing bacteria in the mouth.