Oral Hygiene (With 6 Essential Tips)

oral hygiene Beckley

The Significance of Oral Hygiene

The most effective way to avoid both cavities and periodontal diseases is through daily practice of excellent oral hygiene habits, including tooth brushing and flossing techniques. Did you know that adults aged over 35 are more likely to lose teeth to gum diseases, also known as periodontal diseases, than to cavities? In fact, 75% of adults experience this at some point in their lives. 

Periodontal diseases and tooth decay stem from bacterial plaque. This is a clear film that adheres to your teeth at the gum line, continuously forming. You can fight off these bacteria and guard against periodontal diseases through diligent brushing and flossing every day.

Brushing Techniques

Dr. Williams suggests opting for a soft-bristled toothbrush. Begin by angling the brush at 45 degrees to where your gums and teeth meet, moving it in a circular motion gently across the tooth’s outer surfaces. Apply just enough pressure to get the bristles between the teeth without discomfort.

Continue using this technique on all tooth surfaces, including the insides of your back teeth and the inner surfaces of your front teeth, which you should clean vertically with gentle back-and-forth strokes. Don’t overlook gently brushing the gums around your teeth.

For the biting surfaces, employ short, light strokes, adjusting the brush’s position to reach every surface effectively. Use a mirror to ensure no spot is missed. Finish by rinsing thoroughly to dislodge any loosened plaque.

The Right Way to Floss

Flossing is crucial for removing plaque from between your teeth, where a brush can’t reach. Proper flossing technique is vital and can be perfected with practice. Here’s how to start:

Use about 18 inches of waxed floss, winding most around one middle finger and the rest around the other. Gently guide the floss between your teeth with a back-and-forth motion, curving it into a C-shape against each tooth and moving it up and down along the tooth surface. Make sure to clean both sides of each gap, turning the floss to a clean section as needed.

Don’t forget to floss the back sides of your last teeth and rinse well after flossing. It’s normal for gums to bleed or feel sore in the first week of flossing, but this should improve as you continue. Try to avoid snapping the floss directly down onto your gums; working it down along the side of one tooth will be much gentler and less likely to cause irritation or bleeding.

Floss picks can serve as an excellent alternative to traditional string floss, especially for those seeking convenience and ease of use. Their pre-strung, sturdy design makes it simpler to reach the back teeth and maintain a consistent flossing routine, making them a practical choice for on-the-go oral hygiene or for individuals who find traditional flossing challenging.

The Importance of Tongue Scraping for Oral Hygiene

While brushing and flossing are foundational for maintaining oral health, incorporating tongue scraping into your daily routine can significantly enhance your overall oral hygiene. The tongue, with its rough surface, is a breeding ground for bacteria and food particles, contributing to bad breath and potentially impacting dental health. 

Daily tongue-scraping has benefits like reducing oral bacteria, improving breath, enhancing your sense of taste, and boosting your overall health. It’s also very easy to do, though we recommend getting a specially designed tongue scraper rather than simply using the bumps on the backside of your toothbrush.

Managing Sensitive Teeth

Teeth might become sensitive to temperature changes following dental treatments, but this should be temporary if you keep your mouth clean. Persistent or severe sensitivity should be discussed with your dentist, who may recommend specific products for sensitive teeth.

Selecting Oral Hygiene Products

Choosing the right dental care products can be overwhelming with the vast options available. Consider these tips:

  1. Electric toothbrushes are effective for most people.
  2. Water irrigators can rinse but won’t remove plaque; they should be used alongside brushing and flossing.
  3. Discuss the use of gum-massaging tools and interdental brushes with your dentist to avoid gum damage.
  4. Fluoride toothpastes and mouth rinses can significantly decrease decay risk. However, mouth rinses are not advised for children under six.
  5. Tartar control toothpastes can’t prevent gum disease below the gum line.
  6. Anti-plaque mouth rinses can be a helpful addition to brushing and flossing, especially those approved by the American Dental Association.

Professional Dental Cleanings

Experiencing pain while brushing or have questions on the correct method? Please don’t hesitate to contact our office at the Beckley Office Phone Number 304-252-4141 for guidance. While regular home care is fundamental, professional cleanings are essential for eliminating calculus in hard-to-reach areas. Regular visits to our Beckley office are a critical component of your oral hygiene strategy to prevent gum disease and keep your teeth for life.