Oral Hygiene

oral periodontal hygiene

Oral hygiene is crucial to your health at every stage of life. As an adult, you must maintain excellent oral hygiene to ensure your teeth last a lifetime. Unfortunately, adults over the age of 35 lose more teeth due to gum disease than from cavities. With three out of four individuals developing gum disease at some point, it’s clear that proper brushing and flossing are essential to protecting your teeth and gums.

Periodontal disease and tooth decay are caused by bacterial-laden plaque, the sticky film accumulating on your teeth at the gum line. Plaque constantly forms and is invisible, so brushing and flossing daily is a must to remove plaque and germs and prevent periodontal disease.

The Best Way to Brush

Start with the right tools. Our office highly recommends the use of Sonicare ultrasonic toothbrushes. These brushes do such a great job cleaning the teeth, they even remove stains and whiten the teeth. Our patients immediately notice a difference and an improvement in their oral health when they start using these brushes. As an alternative, a soft-bristle toothbrush and an ADA-approved toothpaste with fluoride will give you reasonable results without damaging your teeth.

Hold the toothbrush at a 45-degree angle to the teeth and brush gently, using small, circular movements. Use light pressure to get in between the teeth, but avoid too much pressure – it should not hurt to brush.

Clean the inside of the back teeth in the same manner, then use a back-and-forth stroke to clean the chewing surfaces of the teeth. Change the direction and angle of the brush as needed to reach all surfaces.

Cleaning the inside surfaces of the front teeth can be challenging. Brush these teeth holding the toothbrush vertically and using short, up-and-down strokes. Looking in a mirror while you brush can help ensure you’ve cleaned all your teeth properly. After brushing, rinse vigorously and spit out the water to rinse away any loosened plaque or debris. If your gums bleed while brushing, please get in touch with our office, as this can be a sign of gum disease.

Transform Your Oral Health with Periodontics in Philadelphia

Experience exceptional periodontal care at Laudenbach Periodontics & Dental Implants in Philadelphia. Take proactive steps to treat gum disease, preserve your teeth’s supporting structures, and maintain a healthy smile.

Flossing

Periodontal disease usually appears between the teeth that your toothbrush cannot reach. Flossing is a very effective way to remove plaque from those surfaces. However, it is essential to develop the proper technique. The following instructions will help you, but remember it takes time and practice.

There are multiple kinds of dental floss on the market, but we recommend using waxed floss, as it is easier to use. Start with a length of floss about 18” long. Wrap most of the flow around the middle finger of one hand. Wrap the rest around the other hand’s middle finger, leaving a small length of floss between your hands.

Start by flossing the upper teeth. Hold the floss tightly between the thumb and forefinger of each hand, then gently insert the floss between the teeth using a sawing motion, not trying to snap it into place or force it. Bring the floss down to the gum line, then curve it into a C-shape against one tooth, moving it up and down. Then, floss up and down on the other tooth, repeating this process with all your teeth. As the floss gets dirty, rotate it from one finger to the other to get a clean length.

When done, rinse well with water to remove food particles and plaque. If you have not flossed in the past, your gums may bleed slightly or feel tender the first week, but this will stop.

Temporary sensitivity to hot and cold foods after dental treatment is rare but usually does not last long. Good hygiene practices can eliminate cold and heat sensitivity. If yours becomes more severe, consult your dentist, who may recommend a medicated toothpaste or mouth rinse.

Choosing Oral Hygiene Products

Choosing proper oral hygiene products can be confusing. There are so many products on the market that it may seem overwhelming to find the right ones. We’ve put together some suggestions for dental care products that work for most of our patients:

Automatic and electric toothbrushes are safe and effective for most patients. We recommend the Sonicare line of electric toothbrushes. These safe and highly effective toothbrushes include designs for children and adults and specific dental care needs. They are highly effective, using 62,000 brush strokes per minute to remove plaque. The Sonicare brush heads should be replaced approximately every 3 months and feature an indicator for replacement. We recommend the Premium Plaque Control and the Premium Gum Care replacement brush heads.

Oral irrigators (water spraying devices) rinse your mouth thoroughly, but do not remove plaque. You must continue to brush and floss in addition to using the irrigator. However, a high-quality water flosser (irrigator) can effectively remove plaque, bacteria, and debris.

Waterpik carries a line of oral irrigators now known as Waterflossers. We recommend either the Cordless or Aquarius Professional Waterflosser models. We do not recommend the combined brush and waterpik design because we maintain that the Sonicare brush design is far superior.

Even people who brush and floss regularly often skip rinsing with a good mouthwash or oral rinse. Rinsing the mouth can provide fresher breath and destroy bacteria that lead to plaque and infections. Our office recommends OraCare mouth rinse, which kills harmful bacteria in the mouth and eliminates fungi, viruses, and volatile sulfur compounds. It breaks up biofilm to prevent calculus build-up.

Nutrition

Brushing and flossing help keep your teeth and gums healthy and strong, but it’s not enough. Eating a balanced diet boosts your 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 bacteria in your mouth. They then produce acids that attack your teeth for up to 20 minutes. Foods that stick to your teeth or are slow to dissolve give the acids more time to destroy your tooth enamel. These foods, including granola bars, chewy fruit snacks, dried fruits, potato chips, hard candy, crackers, breads, cookies, and candy, should be avoided because they negatively affect oral health. Starchy and sugary foods damage your teeth the most, so eat them in moderation.

Whenever possible, drink a full glass of water after eating a meal to wash away debris, bacteria, and sugars if you cannot brush after eating. If you can’t drink water, consider popping some sugar-free gum into your mouth. It stimulates saliva production, which can help wash away bacteria and rinse the mouth.

If you have any questions about oral hygiene or would like pointers on improving your oral care routine, we can help. Contact our office at Philadelphia PA Periodontics Office Phone Number 215-985-4337 for more information or to schedule an appointment with one of our periodontists or dental hygienists.

Transform Your Oral Health with Periodontics in Philadelphia

Experience exceptional periodontal care at Laudenbach Periodontics & Dental Implants in Philadelphia. Take proactive steps to treat gum disease, preserve your teeth's supporting structures, and maintain a healthy smile.

Call us: 215-985-4337