Brushing and flossing
Bacterial plaque is a film of food debris, bacteria, and saliva that sticks to the teeth and gums. The bacteria in plaque convert certain food particles into acids that cause tooth decay. Also, if plaque is not removed, it turns into calculus (tartar). If plaque and calculus are not removed, they begin to destroy the gums and bone, causing periodontal (gum) disease.
Plaque formation and growth is continuous and can only be controlled by regular brushing, flossing, and the use of other dental aids.
Our mouth contain about 300 types of bacteria. Most of them are not harmful. In fact we need them. Some of them called cariogenic organisms have the ability to create cavities. They need to grow for at least 30-36 hours to become really dangerous.
We recommend cleaning your teeth properly once a day!
The ideal time is before going to sleep because no food is eaten during the night and therefore bacteria cannot grow. If you wake up in the morning you can remove food and plaque gently after breakfast. Normally there will be very few bacteria.
The morning clean is for fresh breath and a great feeling.
Toothbrushing – Brush your teeth at least twice a day (especially before going to bed at night) with a quality approved soft bristle brush and toothpaste.
- Brush at a 45 degree angle to the gums, gently using a small, circular motion, ensuring that you always feel the bristles on the gums.
- Brush the outer, inner, and biting surfaces of each tooth.
- Use the tip of the brush head to clean the inside front teeth.
- Brush your tongue to remove bacteria and freshen your breath.
Electric toothbrushes are also recommended. They are easy to use and can remove plaque efficiently. Simply place the bristles of the electric brush on your gums and teeth and allow the brush to do its job, several teeth at a time.
Flossing – Daily flossing is the best way to clean between the teeth and under the gumline. Flossing not only helps clean these spaces, it disrupts plaque colonies from building up, preventing damage to the gums, teeth, and bone.
- Take 40-50cm of dental floss and wrap it around your index fingers, leaving about 20cm of floss between the hands.
- Hold you palms away from you.
- Use you middlefingers to guide the floss, gently insert the floss between teeth using a sawing motion.
- Curve the floss into a “C” shape around each tooth and under the gumline. Gently move the floss up and down, cleaning the side of each tooth.
Floss holders are recommended if you have difficulty using conventional floss.
Rinsing – It is important to rinse your mouth with water after brushing, and also after meals if you are unable to brush. If you are using an over-the-counter product for rinsing, it’s a good idea to consult with your dentist or dental hygienist on its appropriateness for you.