Maintaining A Healthy Smile In Midtown Manhattan
Why is oral hygiene so important?
Adults over 35 lose more teeth to gum diseases (periodontal disease) than from cavities.
Three out of every four adults are impacted by gum disease at some point in their life. The number one way to prevent gum disease and decay is by daily, proper flossing and brushing.
Gum disease and decay are both caused by plaque, a sticky and colorless film that forms on the teeth and at the gumline. Plaque is constantly forming as a result of eating and drinking habits and can be removed with a proper at-home oral health regimen being performed daily.
How to Brush
If you have any pain while brushing or have any questions about how to brush properly, please be sure to call Herald Square Dental at Herald Square Dental Phone Number (212) 689-0024.
Dr. Pasch, Dr. Yam, Dr. Shirzadnia and Dr. Kirshenbaum recommend using a soft to medium toothbrush. Position the brush at a 45-degree angle where your gums and teeth meet. Gently move the brush in a circular motion several times using small, gentle strokes brushing the outside surfaces of your teeth. Use light pressure while putting the bristles between the teeth, but not so much pressure that you feel any discomfort.
When you are done cleaning the outside surfaces of all your teeth, make sure you follow the same directions while cleaning the inside of the back teeth.
For proper cleaning of the inside surfaces of the upper and lower front teeth, hold your brush vertically. Use a gentle back and forth strokes over each tooth and always gently brush the surrounding gums.
Cleaning the biting surfaces comes next, which should be done with short, gentle strokes. You can change the orientation of the brush as often as you may need to reach all surfaces. Use the mirror to your benefit to make sure you hit all surfaces. When you are complete, rinse the mouth to remove any loosened plaque.
How to Floss
Gum disease usually appears between the teeth where your toothbrush cannot reach.
To help battle gum disease, flossing is essential in removing the plaque in the hard-to-reach areas. With that said, it is important to develop proper flossing technique. Try following some of these flossing instructions- but remember, it takes time to practice:
Start with a piece of floss (waxed is usually easier) about 18″ long. Lightly wrap a majority of the floss around the middle finger of one hand. Wrap the rest of the floss around the middle finger of the other hand.
In order to clean the upper teeth, hold the floss tightly between the thumb and forefinger of each hand. Gently insert the floss between the teeth using a back-and-forth motion. Do not force the floss or try to snap it into place. Simply bring the floss to the gumline then curve it into a “C-shape” against one tooth. Slide it into the space between the gum and the tooth until you feel light resistance. Move the floss up and down on the side of one tooth. Remember there are two tooth surfaces that need to be cleaned in each space. Continue flossing each side of all the upper teeth. Be careful not to cut the gum tissue between the teeth. As the floss becomes soiled, turn from one finger to the other to get a fresh section.
To clean between the bottom teeth, guide the floss using the forefingers of both hands. Do not forget the backside of the last tooth on both sides, upper and lower.
When you have finished flossing, rinse the mouth with water to remove plaque and food particles. Do not be alarmed if during the first week of flossing your gums bleed or are a little sore. If your gums hurt while flossing you could be doing it too hard or pinching the gum. As you floss daily and remove the plaque your gums will heal and the bleeding should stop.
Caring for Sensitive Teeth
Sometimes after dental treatment, the teeth can become more sensitive to hot and cold. This should not last long, but only if the mouth is kept clean. If the mouth is not kept clean, the sensitivity will remain and could become more severe. If your teeth are especially sensitive consult with your Herald Square dentist. They may recommend a medicated toothpaste or mouth rinse made especially for sensitive teeth.
Choosing Oral Hygiene Products
With such a great variety of products on the market, it can become confusing, and choosing between all of them can be very difficult. Here are some suggestions for choosing dental care products that will work for most patients:
Electronic toothbrushes are safe and effective for the majority of patients. Oral irrigators (water spraying devices) will rinse your mouth thoroughly, but will not remove plaque. You need to brush and floss in conjunction with the irrigator. We often see excellent results with some electric toothbrushes. Please discuss your individual oral Hygiene needs with your cosmetic dentist or your hygienist at Herald Square Dental & The Denture Center.
Some toothbrushes have a rubber tip on the handle, this is used to massage the gums after brushing. There are also tiny brushes (interproximal toothbrushes) that clean between your teeth. If these are used improperly you could injure the gums, so discuss proper use with the Hygienist at Herald Square Dental & The Denture Center.
Fluoride toothpaste and mouth rinses, if used in conjunction with brushing and flossing, can reduce tooth decay by as much as 40%. Remember, these rinses are not recommended for children under six years of age. Tartar control toothpaste will reduce tartar above the gum line, but gum disease starts below the gumline so these products have not been proven to reduce the early stage of gum disease.
Anti-plaque rinses, approved by the American Dental Association, contain agents that may help bring the early gum disease under control. Use these in conjunction with brushing and flossing.
Daily brushing and flossing will keep dental calculus to a minimum, but a professional cleaning will remove calculus in places your toothbrush and floss have missed. Your frequent visits to our NYC office is an important part of your program to prevent gum disease.