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227 Commercial Road
South Yarra, VIC 3141

Preventative Dentistry

Daily Oral Hygiene

There are two major forms of dental disease seen in the normal population: tooth decay and periodontal disease. Each is caused by different bacterial species which are growth promoted under different circumstances. Tooth decay causing bacteria grow better and produce more acid with increased availability of refined sugars, which are obtained from dietary sources. Periodontal disease causing bacteria are growth promoted by blood and blood products, which have increased levels in people who have red, puffy or bleeding gums. To reduce bleeding a patient needs to brush their teeth twice per day.

Method

It is essential to clean between your teeth. There are three methods available and these are: floss, toothpicks and interproximal brushes.

An electric toothbrush has been found to provide two benefits over a manual (hand held) toothbrush: They are more effective per unit of time and most have a two minute timer, which is the recommended length of time it should take to clean your teeth.

You use an electric toothbrush differently to that of a hand held toothbrush. Not unlike the difference between using a floor mop verses an electric floor polisher. The hand held brush you have to provide all the actions whilst the electric brush you simply need to move around each tooth and let the brush do the brushing. Do the brushing in a systematic method by starting at the gum line on the back tooth and slowly moving around remembering there are three surfaces cheek, tongue and biting. Make sure that you do not miss any sections.

Recommendation. Clean between your teeth using either dental floss or specifically designed interdental brushes, and brush at least twice a day with fluoride toothpaste and use an electric toothbrush or a soft toothbrush with a small head to reach all areas of your mouth. Morning and before bed are best. We recommend you replace your toothbrush every 3 to 4 months as the bristles bend and become ineffective.

Interdental Cleaning

Interdental cleaning: Just as important as brushing, interdental cleaning will remove plaque build-up and particles of food, especially hard and chewy foods that have become caught in the fine spaces between teeth or under the gumline where your toothbrush cannot reach. Interdental cleaning at night before bed is the best time, in order to remove any food and plaque accumulated from meals and snacks throughout the day. At The Dentists we have found interproximal brushes to be the most effective.

Interdental Brushing

Using a back and forward motion, carefully move the Interdental brush between two teeth. Do this in between all the teeth and around the back of your last teeth.

Flossing

Using a back and forward motion, carefully move the floss between two teeth. Curve the floss around the tooth to make a rounded “V” shape and slide it up and down the side of each tooth.

Floss to be used to clean the crevice between the tooth and the gum. Remember to floss the back and sides of your back teeth. Although flossing can take some time to master, it’s an essential part of your oral hygiene routine. Flossing is important for children too. Slowly introduce your child to flossing after brushing from around age 3. By neglecting to clean interdentally, you miss cleaning 35% of your tooth surfaces.

Brushing

Brushing
It only takes a few minutes each day to achieve and maintain your oral health between check up appointments with The Dentists. Here are some easy to follow tips on brushing and flossing effectively.

Electric toothbrushes have two advantages: They clean more efficiently per unit of time and Remind you to clean for 2 minutes as they have a timer. They are also better for people with manual dexterity issues such as seen with the elderly.

Hand held toothbrush

  • Use a soft bristled handheld toothbrush to prevent damage to your enamel that can sometimes be caused with a hard brush. A small head will enable you to reach all areas of your mouth.
  • Hold your brush at a 45 degree angle against your gumline. Gently brush from where the tooth and gum meet, to the chewing surface in short strokes. Brushing too vigorously may cause gums to recede, tooth sensitivity, and over time loose teeth.
  • Use a short sweeping motion to clean the chewing surfaces of your teeth. Tipping the bristles helps to get into the pits and crevices of your back teeth.
  • Holding your brush almost vertically will enable you to clean the inside surfaces of your top and bottom front teeth and gums. Using a forward and back motion, bring the front part of the brush over the teeth and gums.

To remove the bacteria that cause bad breath, use a sweeping action to brush your tongue and roof of your mouth. You may take a little time to get used to this, but it is an important part of total oral cleaning.