Patient Instructions: After Oral Hygiene

We would like you to keep your teeth and gums healthy for the rest of your life.  We will be happy to explain and demonstrate proper home care, however, responsibility for your oral health ultimately lies with you.  It is your responsibility to care for your teeth and mouth. If you follow these instructions every day, you will significantly improve your chances of a lifetime of excellent oral health. Floss: floss is needed to get rid of plaque and anything else that decides to get stuck in your teeth, both above and below the gum line. Plaque refers to the bacteria as well as other items that stick to your teeth. There’s a direct connection between plaque, gum disease and tooth decay. Therefore, if you don’t remove the plaque, you will get gum disease and tooth decay.
  • Glide Floss is among the top flossing products available. It is designed to not get caught in your teeth or fillings.
  • Take an 18 inch amount of floss and wrap it around your 2 middle fingers.
  • Hold about a 1 inch period of this floss between the thumb and forefinger of each hand, keeping it tight.
  • Gently place this 1 inch tight piece between your teeth.
  • When you reach the gum line, hold the floss against one tooth and move it into the space between the gum and tooth below the gum line.
  • While keeping the floss in touch with the tooth, move it up and down alongside the tooth, to as far as you can comfortably get below the gum line. It is necessary that you get the floss in the space between the gum and tooth, because this is exactly where gum disease begins.
  • Repeat the same process for the tooth on the other side. As you move from tooth to tooth, use a fresh section of floss.
  • If you haven’t flossed in awhile, your gums may bleed when you first do this. If you are flossing correctly (and at least one time a day), your gums will begin to heal and the bleeding should cease in about two weeks.
  Brushing:  brushing removes plaque and food debris.
  • After flossing, use a soft brush along with a fluoride containing brand-name toothpaste. For the inside and outside surfaces, hold the brush at a 45 degree angle to the teeth and gums and use a gentle back-and-forth motion. In addition to cleaning your teeth, this technique will also keep your gums healthy.
  • It is important to have the brush contact the teeth and gums at the same time. On the chewing surfaces hold the brush flat and use a gentle scrubbing motion.
  • Brush for 2 minutes. Two minutes may seem like a long time, but it will be much more effective than the average brushing time of 20-30 seconds. Since two minutes is longer than most people brush, you may want to use a timer, by the sink to help you brush for two minutes.
  • Brush your teeth at least twice a day, especially in the morning and at bedtime.
  • When done, spit out as much as you can. Don’t swallow the toothpaste, and don’t rinse out with any water.
Scrape: a tongue scraper is very effective for removing bacteria and food debris on the tongue. Substances may get trapped in the deep crevices of your tongue, and if these substances are not removed, the byproducts will give you bad breath.
  • After brushing, a tongue scraper followed by a rinse is frequently the best way to control bad breath.
  • Hold the scraper with two hands, between your thumbs and forefingers. Bend the scraper so that it forms a “C”.
  • Stick out your tongue and scrape from back to front a couple of times. You will observe a creamy film develop on the scraper. Rinse off the film. Repeat the scraping and rinsing until the film coming off your tongue is clear.
  • Rinse and dry the tongue scraper. A tongue scraper is usually designed to last a long time.
Rinse: an antibacterial rinse is just that, a rinse that cuts down on the bacteria that creates gum disease and cavities. Rinses also reduce bacteria and the bacterial byproducts that create bad breath.
  • After scraping your tongue, it is suggested which you use a non-alcoholic anti-bacterial rinse. A non-alcoholic anti-bacterial rinse will significantly decrease the bacteria and volatile sulfur compounds (which is the substances responsible for stinky breath). It will enhance the health your mouth’s health.Why a non-alcoholic rinse? Most mouth rinses (such as Scope) contain a high percentage of alcohol. Alcohol dries our your mouth. Using a mouthrinse that contains alcohol will only make your breath smell nice for a short period of time. Once the alcohol begins drying the tongue and gums, your breath can actually smell worse than before you used it. Therefore, an alcoholic mouth rinse is not recommended.
  • Use a very small amount of mouth rinse and swish for 10-15 seconds, then spit it out. No rinsing with water.
Remember: You don’t need to clean all of your teeth; just the ones you would like to keep. Congratulations! You’re on the right path to excellent oral health.
After Oral Hygiene was last modified: October 23rd, 2017 by Lisa Carr