How to Brush Teeth
It is recommended to brush for at least 2 minutes, twice per day.
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 some pressure while putting the bristles between the teeth, but not so much pressure that you feel any discomfort. When you are done cleaning the outside surfaces of all your teeth, follow the same directions while cleaning the inside of the back teeth.
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.
Next you will clean the biting surfaces of your teeth. To do this, use short, gentle strokes. Change the position of the brush as often as necessary to reach and clean all surfaces.
If you have any pain while brushing or have any questions about how to brush properly, please be sure to call the office.
How to Floss
Periodontal disease usually occurs 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 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 moving the floss up and down on the side of one tooth avoiding any pressure on the gums. Going too deep under the gums may damage the gum attachment to the teeth. After cleaning the first tooth surface, move to the other tooth surface in that space. Continue to floss each side of all the teeth. As the floss becomes frayed, turn from one finger to the other to get a fresh section. Do not forget the back side 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 are sensitive to hot and cold. If the mouth is kept clean, this sensation should not last long. However, if the mouth is not kept clean, the sensitivity may remain and could become more severe. If your teeth are especially sensitive, consult with Dr. Nehring or Dr. Terry who can recommend products made especially for sensitive teeth.
Choosing Oral Hygiene Products
Many oral hygiene products are available. During your visit, our office will also recommend other techniques and products customized to your needs.