Tooth brushing can clean the biting surfaces and the tongue and cheek sides of a tooth. However, floss and other aids are used to clean the sides between the teeth.
- Use Soft bristles
- Use Nylon bristles
- Replace brush or tip frequently (typically every 3 months and after recovering from a cold/flu)
- Effective brushing should take no less than two minutes.
- Spend approximately 30 seconds in each quadrant of your mouth.
Flossing is the only way to clean the surfaces between the teeth that are left untouched after tooth brushing. Make sure to incorporate this into your routine 1-2 times per day!
Flossing under a bridge
- Locate the artificial tooth (pontic) on the bridge and carefully slide the floss- threader under the gum-line, between the artificial tooth and the crowned natural tooth.
- Access the tip of floss-threader on the inside portion of mouth and grasp both sides of floss with the thumb and index finger of each hand.
- Gently wrap the floss in a “c- shape” formation around the first crowned natural tooth and slide floss up and down a few times to remove plaque.
- Glide the floss under the artificial tooth to remove underlining plaque and food debris.
- Wrap floss in a “c- shape” formation around second crowned natural tooth, then slide the floss up and down a few times.
- Remove floss from under the bridge with a horizontal motion towards the outside of mouth. For best results, brush teeth prior to flossing and rinse with an antiseptic mouthwash afterwards, as recommended by your dental professional, to minimize bacterial growth.
The Tongue Scraper is an oral hygiene device designed to clean the bacterial buildup, food debris, fungi and dead cells from the surface of the tongue.
These bacteria produce sulphur compounds on the rear of the tongue that account for 80-95% of Halitosis (bad breath). Use the tongue scraper after tooth brushing and prior to flossing teeth.
- Hold tongue scraper by handle, with the sharp side facing your tongue.
- Stick out your tongue and place the tongue scraper as far back as feels comfortable.
NOTE: In doing this, be cautious as to not trigger a gag reflex.
- From the back to tip of the tongue, glide the tongue scraper with light to moderate pressure 3-4 times covering the diameter of the tongue.
NOTE: Do not over-scrape the tongue as this can harm the taste buds and cause discomfort or irritation.
- Rinse your mouth with an antiseptic mouthwash, as recommended by your dental professional, to minimize bacterial growth.
Sulcrabrush / End tuft brush
After tooth brushing, an additional oral hygiene aid can be used, in conjunction with flossing, to help eliminate plaque from hard to reach tooth surfaces and the gum-line.
This can be used behind the last molar, around partially erupted wisdom teeth and the along the gum-line on the inside tongue surface of teeth.
- Place the bristles of brush under warm water and direct it on the gum-line of teeth or area of concern.
- With a wave-like motion, adapt the bristles of brush around the gum-line.
NOTE: Always brush “away” from the gumline; towards biting surface of teeth. This will effectively remove plaque while avoiding gum recession and possible irritation.
- Keep rinsing the brush under warm water after use on every couple of teeth to effectively remove plaque and avoid bacterial transfer.
- For effectiveness, rinse your mouth with an antiseptic mouthwash, as recommended by your dental professional, to minimize bacterial growth.
Proxabrush / interdental brush
After tooth brushing, an additional oral hygiene aid can be used in conjunction with flossing to help eliminate plaque from in between teeth.
This can be used for patients with braces or larger spacing between teeth.
For efficacy, use the appropriate bristle size, depending on the spacing.
- Attach the bristle on the proxabrush handle. Your dental professional can indicate which size of bristle best fits your needs.
- Carefully, adapt your brush so it fits in between your teeth. Let it slide as far as it can.
NOTE: If the contact area is too tight, do not force the proxabrush through your teeth.
- With a circular motion, wiggle the proxabrush a few times in the space and then gently remove.
- Remember to rinse your proxabrush after each tooth to avoid any bacterial transfer.
- Remember to replace the proxabrush bristles every 2 days to ensure quality care and efficacy in cleanliness.
If you ever wake up with a sore jaw, dull headache, or find yourself clenching your teeth, you may have a condition called “bruxism”. Bruxism is the habit of clenching or grinding the teeth. Many people are unaware that they grind/clench their teeth because they do it while they sleep.
Signs and Symptoms of Bruxism
- Headaches, earaches or toothaches.
- A sore jaw joint.
- Damage to dental restorations and loose teeth.
- Tooth sensitivity with temperature changes and pressure (This happens when the enamel of a tooth is worn away to expose the underlying dentin).
One treatment for bruxism is the fabrication of a Nightguard (it’s worn while you sleep). A Nightguard sits over the teeth of either your upper or lower jaw and it prevents contact with the opposing teeth. This relieves some of the not so enjoyable symptoms of bruxism and pressures of grinding and clenching.