TLC Oral Hygiene
A program of good oral hygiene is to your “Dream Smile” as a good maintenance program is to your car. It keeps everything working and looking great. To further this analogy we might view dental plaque as the equivalent of automotive rust. Absent proper cleaning, both will develop and then discolor, deteriorate, and destroy structural integrity. In short, without a program of good care, a new car becomes a clunker; a Dream Smile becomes decay. Only a combined personal and professional oral hygiene program can achieve and maintain your “Dream Smile”.
Personal Oral Hygiene
TLC Dental has prepared a Personal Oral Hygiene booklet to assist you in practicing good oral hygiene. The following are excerpts from the booklet:
- Flossing prior to brushing is equally if not more important than brushing itself.
- In flossing, you should gently insert the floss between the teeth and bring it up and down several times while forming a C shape around the teeth and extending it below the gum line.
The Advantages of TLC Rotadent Brushing
The Rotadent has proven far more effective than any manual or electric toothbrush in maintaining dental health. Click here to learn the many advantages of a Rotadent.
- If you use a manual toothbrush, it should have a small (1” to ½”) head with soft, rounded bristles.
- You should use a fluoride and tartar control toothpaste bearing the ADA seal of approval and, if recommended by TLC, a desensitizing toothpaste for sensitive teeth. A pea sized amount on the top of the bristles is sufficient
- In brushing, you should hold your brush at a 45 degree angle and, beginning with the front or cheek side of your top teeth, gently brush up and down away from your gum line in small sections. Rinse your brush after each section and proceed to your lower teeth and then to the tongue side of you teeth.
- After brushing your teeth, you should brush your tongue.
- You should replace your toothbrush every three to four months or sooner if the bristles lose structure and always replace it after a cold.
- There are two types of rinses or mouthwashes that are used before or after brushing to address food particles, bacteria, fluoridation, and bad breath.
- Prescription rinses are for patients with specific oral diseases. Over-the-counter rinses are for general use but vary in nature and are best selected in consultation with TLC Dental.
- In rinsing, you should use the recommended amount of rinse, completely clear the rinse from your mouth, and after rinsing refrain from eating, drinking, or smoking for thirty minutes.
How Often and How Long Should You Floss, Brush, and Rinse
- You should floss for 2 to 3 minutes after every meal and snack or at least twice a day.
- You should brush your teeth for 3 to 4 minutes after every meal and snack or at least twice a day.
- If you are unable to floss and brush after a meal or snack, you should thoroughly rinse your mouth with water.
- Water rinsing in the absence of flossing and brushing might be supplemented with sugarless gum containing Xylitol that reduces bacteria in the mouth and buffers it against acid.
- You should rinse your mouth for 30 seconds after every flossing and brushing
- After eating acidic foods such as citrus fruits and tomatoes, you should rinse your mouth with water and wait at least 30 minutes before brushing to avoid brushing acid into your teeth.
Oral Hygiene for Children
- Even before the arrival of primary teeth, parents should wipe an infant’s mouth with a washcloth or gauze pad to prevent build-up of plaque and bacteria
- Small children should be given a safe “toddler brush” with an oblong shape that prevents it from being swallowed
- Children under the age of 6 should be given only a baby-pea sized amount of toothpaste and should not be given fluoride rinses.
Professional Oral Hygiene
Even the most exacting personal oral hygiene is not sufficient to protect your dental health and maintain your “Dream Smile”. Only a trained hygienist with advanced professional equipment in a biannual or, if needed, more frequent Professional Dental Cleaning or “Recare” can perform the diagnostic, preventive, and aesthetic procedures that are essential for your dental health and “Dream Smile”. Indeed, without regular Recares you risk stains, gum disease, bone loss, and even oral cancer that cannot be detected and addressed by personal oral hygiene. Click here for details on this vital dental procedure.
TLC Soft Tissue Management
Much like the Recare, essential elements of our Soft Tissue Management system, including periodontal examinations, removal of tartar and calculus through scaling and root planing with the Cavitron Jet Plus, and Arestin and fluoride treatments cannot be achieved through personal oral hygiene. The health of your teeth and gum tissues depends on both good personal oral hygiene and STM. Click here for details on this important dental system.
For definitions related to oral hygiene consult Dr. Rothenberg’s Dental Dictionary.