Tuesday, February 24, 2015
There are several concepts and techniques that I find myself repeating to patients as they come to the office. This is information on how to take care of teeth at home on a daily basis that is not all common knowledge. Brush 2 times a day (after breakfast and after dinner). Floss 1 time a day (bacteria take about 12 to 24 hours to build up enough of a colony to start damaging teeth with their acid by-product). The house for the bacteria is plaque. Plaque gets on your teeth after one snack or meal and has a consistency of wet bread. It takes the same forces to remove it as you would remove wet bread off the counter top. If it is not removed on a regular basis, then it becomes mineralized and is a cement-like plaque that needs picked off. Use mouth rinses and/or water picks as an adjunct to these basic procedures. It is important to brush for a total of 2 minutes with 30 seconds per quadrant of the mouth. Brush in small circles with a 45 degree angle to get the bristle tips into the small pockets around the teeth. Use a soft bristle toothbrush and it is good to get all sides of the teeth evenly without being too aggressive to cause damage to the gums or teeth. We can induce trauma to our gums and teeth with aggressive brushing and bristles on the toothbrush being too hard. While flossing, wrap the floss
around the tooth as moving up and down a few times, then wrap the floss around the other tooth in the contact and do the same thing. It is important to not damage the gums, but you will go below the gum levels into pockets around the teeth a little. Some people with larger openings between their teeth may need to use small proxy brushes that look like small tree tops that fit in between the teeth to aid in debris removal that floss is too thin to reach.
Justin Rader, DDS
1223 Government Way
Coeur d Alene, ID 83814