What is oral hygiene?
Oral hygiene is the practice of keeping one's mouth and teeth clean and free of disease and other problems. Healthy teeth enable good nutrition and speech, making us look and feel good about ourselves.
Good oral hygiene:
- Prevents the occurrence of major teeth issues and painful complications
- Saves our money by decreasing the costs of dental treatment
We are sure that you are now more motivated to learn how to do it properly, isn’t that right? We are here to guide you and help you achieve good oral hygiene practice.
Recommendations for good oral care of mouth and teeth
- Regular check-ups
Every six months you should visit your stomatologist who will examine the conditions of your mouth and teeth. If needed, he/she will remove the soft and hard deposits (plaque and tartar) from your teeth.
- Proper nutrition
It is crucial to learn how to properly nourish. Eating adequate amounts of healthy nutrients leads to a balanced diet which reflects on the overall health, including health of your mouth and teeth. Eating large amounts of sugar and unhealthy snacks is a bad habit we should break!
- Tooth brushing
Toothpaste should contain fluoride. It strengthens the teeth by speeding up remineralisation and preventing the bacteria from producing acids causing tooth decay (carries).
How much fluoride should a toothpaste contain?
The concentration of fluoride is measured in PPM units (part per million = how many units of fluoride contains the basic substance in which it dissolves). If we say that, for example, drinking water contains 2 ppm of fluoride, it means there are 2 units of fluoride per million units of water.
- For children from six months to 2 years of age – 500 ppm fluoride (0,5 mg/g)
- For children aged 2-6 – 1000 (+) ppm
- From age 6 onwards – 1450 ppm
Which toothbrush is the best?
- Toothbrush with a small head (a head is the part containing bristles), so it could reach the farthest surfaces of back teeth.
- Relative to the firmness of the bristles, toothbrushes can be:
2. Medium Soft
3. Ultra soft
If you don’t suffer from any chronic periodontal disease, it is best to use soft toothbrushes. They are soft enough not to damage the gingiva, but still sufficiently firm to remove the debris from the surface of the teeth.
- Toothbrushes with artificially made bristles, since natural bristles retain bacteria and are not firm enough
- Manual toothbrushes have all the qualities of an excellent toothbrush. The use of electric toothbrushes offers no advantages whatsoever, but can be an equally good choice.
- Tooth brushing technique
- Bristles should be placed at a 45° angle to the long axis of the tooth so one half covers the gingiva, and the other half covers the tooth crown.
- Move the head of the toothbrush circularly back and forth, in gentle vibratory movements rather than moving bristles themselves.
- Hold the tips of the bristles in one position for about 10 seconds.
- Remove the bristles from gum area, moving the toothbrush towards the biting surfaces of the teeth (brushing in direction of teeth growth).
- Repeat movements for each tooth on both their facial and lingual surfaces. It is extremely important to clean properly the buccal surfaces of posterior teeth.
Teeth should be washed at least twice a day – in the morning and in the evening, after the last meal, in average duration of 3 minutes.
- Tongue cleaning
Debris on the tongue causes bad breath and induces growth of bacteria. If you notice a white coating on the tongue surface, you should:
- Remove the surface layer with the tongue scraper
- Use toothbrush and toothpaste to remove the remaining bacteria from the tongue
- Rinse your mouth with water
- Mouth washing
There are mouthwash options designed for daily use. They contain antiseptic, fluoride and menthol, which gives us a feeling of cleanliness.
On the other hand, mouthwashes prescribed by the stomatologist can contain Chlorhexidine, an important element which helps fighting off bacteria harmful to the oral cavity. Nevertheless, these rinses should be used only under medical supervision.
Alcohol-free mouthwashes are recommended, because alcohol drains the mouth, thus it should be avoided by pregnant women and children.
- The use of interdental floss and interdental brushes
Dental floss should be used every day prior to the tooth brushing.
- Wind 30 cm of floss around your index finger or middle fingers of both hands, leaving 5 cm in the middle
- Then, tighten the floss and gently guide the floss between your teeth using a gentle motion all the way to the gums.
- Repeat the procedure with the next tooth and in the same interdental space.
- For each tooth section use new floss.
- Take care not to hurt the teeth by carefully applying the pressure.
- Take the floss toward biting surfaces in the same way.
- If a floss gets stuck or ragged when you remove it from the mouth, it is due to outdated, inadequate fillings or tooth decay. You should visit your stomatologist for a check-up.
Interdental brushes are used when a space between the teeth is large and cannot be cleaned with dental floss. It is important to be able to bring the toothbrush through the teeth easily and without any pain.
- Brush is placed horizontally to the long axis of the tooth so it can enter the space between two teeth
- Push the brush gently until it pulls through to the other side, but this should be without any pain
- If your gums are inflamed or you have an active periodontal pocket, you can expect bleeding while cleaning teeth with these brushes. It is due to the inflammation, not injury. In this situation, be persistent in using the brushes and the bleeding will decrease or completely stop after several days.
- Brush should be washed under the squirt of water after each of the interdental spaces has been cleaned.
- After use, wash the brush and leave it to dry in the open air, in order to avoid accumulation of bacteria.
- When you notice that the bristles on the brush are deformed, it means it is no longer effective and should be changed.
- Waterpik appliance
It is a home dental care appliance which uses a stream of pulsating water to remove plaque and food debris between the teeth, as well as below the gum line, thus protecting their wellbeing.
It is recommended for persons suffering from gingivitis, diabetes, or those with a prosthetic substitution – dentures, crowns or implants. These appliances enable efficient removal of the debris and food particles from remote areas in the mouth, otherwise unreachable by the toothbrush or even dental floss.
Stomatologists at the Pavlovic Dental Clinic give their patients all necessary advice related to the health of their mouth and teeth during each visit.
Make your appointment and find out which oral care products you should use and how!
Visit us in person or call to schedule an appointment, at 011/3822-331.
Looking forward to seeing you soon!