Your Oral Hygiene:
Dental hygiene is the practice of keeping the mouth and the teeth clean to prevent dental problems such as cavities, gum disease, and bad breath.
Brushing and flossing daily greatly enhances the overall health of teeth along with regular visits to your hygienist. Maintaining good oral hygiene is one of the most important things you can do for your overall health.
Your Hygiene Appointment
The Canadian Dental Association recommends seeing your dentist for a cleaning and check-up every six months to keep good dental health. The goal is to catch small problems early. We may suggest you visit more or less depending on how well you care for your teeth and gums, problems that need checking or treatment, how fast tartar builds up on your teeth, and so on.
A cleaning involves scaling to remove the build-up of tartar, and polishing using a paste to remove plaque. We do recommend fluoride to give your teeth protection.
A check-up involves X-rays yearly to check for cavities, bone levels and healthy roots. Dr. Kopec checks all your teeth and tissue to make sure all are healthy.
Proper Brushing Technique
1. Use a soft-bristle toothbrush to avoid damaging your gums and wearing away your tooth enamel.
2. Tilt the brush at a 45 degree angle against the gum line, and sweep or roll the brush away from the gum line.
3. Gently brush the outside, inside and chewing surface of each tooth using short back and forth strokes.
4. Gently brush your tongue to remove bacteria and freshen your breath.
TIP: If find yourself using too much pressure against your gums, switch to your non-dominant hand to brush your teeth – that’s the right amount of pressure to apply!
Proper Flossing Technique
1. Use a waxed variety to help the floss glide more easily between your teeth.
2. Use about 18 inches of floss. Start at one end of the floss and wrap between your index fingers on both hands, leaving an inch or two to work with.
3. Gently follow the curves of your teeth, raveling and unraveling the floss as you go to ensure you’re always working with a clean section.
4. Be sure to clean beneath the gum line, but avoid snapping the floss on the gums.