6 Tips for Better Oral Hygiene

6 tips for Better Oral Hygiene (brushing and flossing) that Dr. Robert Faber teaches his patients at Mission Laser Dentistry:

1.) Hold your TOOTHBRUSH in the proper position

Your toothbrush should be held so that the bristles are oriented at a 45 degree vertical angle to the long axis(length) of the teeth.  This orientation allows the action of brushing to eliminate plaque not only from the pits and grooves and smooth exposed surfaces of the teeth it also ensures that the bristles can clean all the way down to the gumline.

2.) Use GENTLE pressure

Whether you are using one of the electric toothbrushes Dr. Robert Faber recommends, or one of the regular SOFT toothbrushes Mission Laser Dentistry gives to our patients, gentle pressure is all that you should apply to the handle of the toothbrush.  Using gentle pressure allows the bristles to do the work without damaging the gums or causing gum recession.  The amount of pressure applied is related to the grip-which should be light and the force/vigor applied to moving the toothbrush.

3.) CHANGE your toothbrush every 3 months

Studies have shown that after 3 months the ends of the toothbrush bristles have worn and transformed from rounded to squared off.  When the bristles become squared from use, they no longer clean as effectively and can cause gum recession.

4.) Use a LONG-24 inch length of dental floss

At Mission Laser Dentistry, we know that the goal of flossing is not just to remove large bits of food debris, but also to remove the bacterial film from the surfaces of the teeth.  A sufficiently-long (usually 24 inch length) strand of floss allows one to introduce a clean section between each time the floss passes between 2 teeth.

5.) A “Shoeshine” MOTION is the best for better flossing

At Mission Laser Dentitstry, Dr. Robert Faber teaches his patients to use to use ta horizontal “shoeshining” motion when flossing.  Also, the floss should be wrapped tight around the “neck” of the tooth being flossed to ensure that maximum surface area is cleaned.

6.) Any FLUORIDE containing toothpaste is great!

Dr. Faber is asked frequently by patients what toothpaste is best.  Simply put, the answer is to use any toothpaste the patient likes that contains fluoride.  Fluoride helps to strengthen the surface of the enamel, which helps prevent tooth decay.  The only mitigating factor determining which toothpaste is best is whether or not a patient experiences thermally sensitive teeth.  If so, at Mission Laser Dentistry we recommend ELIMINATING any baking soda and peroxide toothpaste and probably using a stannous fluoride sensitive toothpaste formula.

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