Have you ever heard the saying, "an ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure?". When it comes to oral health, nothing could be more certain. It's crucial to develop good oral health habits early in life to avoid a host of dental problems. Patients who brush and floss daily are extremely unlikely to ever need dentures, root canals, or have extractions. The easiest and least expensive way to protect your smile is through preventive care. At Cypress Point Family Dentistry this is our number one service and high priority. We hire hygienists that are not only friendly and informative but also highly skilled at removing harmful plaque and tartar while easing your dental fears and concerns.
Our teeth will quickly and easily develop an invisible biofilm, which if left undisturbed, will start a cascade of dental health problems. Brushing and flossing breaks up the biofilm before it has a chance of causing harm. Tiny food particles may also get stuck in between teeth, which can easily be removed by flossing. Plaque contains harmful bacteria that can lead to gingival inflammation. This inflammation produces an acidic environment, which over time will destroy tooth-supporting bone and ligaments. Once bone loss has begun you now have gum disease which is an irreversible condition.
Brushing and flossing twice daily is the best thing you can do to keep your teeth clean and plaque free. This is best done in the morning after waking up and at night before going to bed. Brushing should take at least two minutes, so do not rush or brush too hard!
Electric toothbrushes have made it much easier for you to keep your teeth in good shape. The ultrasonic vibrations of sonic-type brushes can also help break up bacteria that accumulate in between the teeth, as well as on the smooth surfaces. These brushes also have built-in timers to let you know when it is time to stop. A traditional toothbrush can also get the job done—it just requires more effort. With both types of brushes, proper technique is still required, so please ask your hygienist. Water pics are now cordless and much easier to use. For patients with spaces and deeper gum pockets, these water pics are excellent in combating periodontal disease.
Brushing and Flossing Tips
A great way to learn how to brush and floss properly is to watch a hygienist brush and floss their own teeth. Brushing twice a day is the minimum we recommend but after every meal is even better. Included with your hygiene appointment at our Jacksonville dental office, we will provide oral hygiene instructions. It’s easy for a patient to regularly miss a certain area while brushing, so we will help you identify those trouble spots. We suggest starting on the top right and gradually move towards the left using a gentle circular motion and covering all surfaces. Then go to the lower left and move towards the lower right. To remove plaque along the gum line, angle the bristles at a 45-degree angle along the gum line to allow the bristles to gently remove plaque along the area harboring the most plaque.
Flossing takes much practice and patience but over time can become as easy as brushing. Here are a few basics. First, grab about 20 inches of floss. Wrap the ends on your middle fingers. Use your index finger as a guide. Starting at the top right, gently slide the floss in between your teeth, creating a c-shape around the tooth to “hug” the contours of the tooth. Slide the floss up and down in between the teeth and below the gum line. When you floss daily, you will notice your gums will stay healthy and not bleed. Bleeding gums are not healthy. If you ever have any questions about a hygiene product that you would like to try please feel free to ask us for a recommendation.
If it's been more than six months since your last dental visit now is the time to schedule your next appointment. If you have never been here before please take advantage of one of our New patient offers. I hope you are enjoying our website!!!