Oral hygiene is very important....As we pointed out in the dental health page, our mouth is a window to the outside world, and a contact with everything we eat and drink. It contains a very complex "ecosystem" of bacteria, in large part benign, but potentially damaging depending on the way they are fed and if they are left undisturbed or not.
Brushing the teeth is essential. At least twice a day, when waking up and before going to bed, but a good extra brushing after every meal would be even better. The best way to learn about tooth brushing is to discuss it with your dental hygienist and your dentist, but we also have a video that gives a good overview of the process:
Video on tooth brushing technique.
Flossing is also extremely important, since there is no amount of brushing - electrical or by hand - that can reach and clean completely the spaces between the teeth, and the crease (shallow in healthy gums) surrounding the tooth. Proper flossing technique is also explained by your dental team, and explained in a video:
Video on flossing technique
There are several questions we are asked on a regular basis, and we can try to answer some of them.
- Toothpaste: How much? Pea-size for a child, a bit more for an adult. No need for a large amount. Toothpaste is meant to help brushing the teeth, and apply some fluoride to the tooth surface, but is not meant to be swallowed (especially in children). Great taste does not mean it should be used as food! Any special brand of toothpaste? Any known good brands should be about the same. Some specialized toothpastes exist for sensitive teeth, for example, and can be used by people having that issue. All the rest is basic marketing hype.
- Floss: Waxed? Ribbon? With mint taste? It all depends on your teeth. Teeth that are easy to floss should get the simplest floss, since wax has been described by some as a contaminant left on the teeth as a "catch all". However, people with very tight contacts that tear a floss will sure benefit from the waxed floss, and possibly from a ribbon-type of floss. The rest is marketing hype.
- Mouth rinse: A good complement after brushing and flossing, especially prior to go to bed...but it will not do the work by itself.
Special aspects of dental hygiene in children will be described in more details in our child dentistry section.
For more entertaining information, you can click below on "Oral Hygiene" (left), then those videos:
- Proper tooth brushing technique
- How to floss
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