Developing and maintaining a proper plaque removal routine is vital to the success of treatment efforts that are designed to bring periodontal disease under control. When certain bacteria accumulate in the mouth of a susceptible person, periodontal disease (periodontitis) will infect or re-initiate the disease process. This potentially cyclic and recurring characteristic of periodontal disease can be minimized or even avoided with utilization of various home care tools as recommended and instructed by our office.
Cleaning between your teeth: FLOSS
Periodontal disease usually first appears between the teeth where your toothbrush cannot reach. Flossing is a very effective way to remove plaque from those surfaces. However, it is important to develop the proper technique. Management of periodontal disease will undoubtedly fail without this necessary step in your home care routine.
Caring For Sensitive Teeth
Sometimes after dental treatment, teeth are 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 doctor. A medicated toothpaste or mouth rinse made especially for sensitive teeth may be recommended.
Choosing Oral Hygiene Products
There are so many products on the market it can become confusing and choosing between all the products can be difficult. Here are some suggestions for choosing dental care products that will work for most patients.
Automatic and “high-tech” electronic toothbrushes are safe and effective for the majority of the patients. Oral irrigators (water spraying devices) will rinse your mouth thoroughly, but will not remove all plaque, especially deep below the gumline. You need to brush and floss in conjunction with the irrigator. We see excellent results with electric toothbrushes (Sonicare and Braun / Oral B), spin brushes are less effective in the efforts against the development of gum disease.
Some toothbrushes have a rubber tip on the handle, this is used to massage the gums after brushing. There are also tiny brushes called inter-proximal toothbrushes (proxabrushes) that are adjunctive aids in cleaning the spaces and gaps between your teeth and are not considered a substitute for flossing. If these are used improperly you could injure the gums, so discuss proper use with your doctor.
If used in conjunction with brushing and flossing, fluoride toothpastes and mouth rinses can reduce tooth decay as much as 40 percent. Remember, these rinses are not recommended for children under six years of age. Tartar control toothpastes 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 reduce plaque build up and can be a good adjunct to maintaining a healthier oral condition. Use these in conjunction with brushing and flossing.
We can help you select the right products that are best for you.
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. Visit your periodontist, as he or she is an important part of your program to prevent gum disease. A regular maintenance schedule is vital for a person who wants to establish good overall dental health and wishes to keep their teeth for a lifetime.