How to Brush
While brushing the outside surfaces of your teeth:
- 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
- use some 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, follow the same directions while cleaning the inside of the back teeth.
To clean the inside surfaces of the upper and lower front teeth:
- hold the brush vertically
- make several gentle back-and-forth strokes over each tooth
- don’t forget to gently brush the surrounding gum tissue.
Next you will clean the biting surfaces of your teeth:
- use short, gentle strokes
- change the position of the brush as often as necessary to reach and clean all surfaces.
- try to watch yourself in the mirror to make sure you clean each surface
- after you are done, rinse vigorously to remove any plaque you might have loosened while brushing
If you have any pain while brushing or have any questions about how to brush properly, please be sure to call the office.
How to Floss
While flossing your teeth start with a piece of floss (waxed is easier) about 18″ long and lightly wrap most of the floss around the middle finger of one hand, then wrap the rest of the floss around the middle finger of the other hand.
To clean the upper teeth:
- hold the floss tightly between the thumb and forefinger of each hand
- gently insert the floss tightly between the teeth using a back-and-forth motion, but do not force the floss or try to snap it in to place
- bring the floss to the gum line 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 to floss 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 forefinger of both hands. Do not forget the back side of the last tooth on both sides, upper and lower. When you are done, rinse vigorously with water to remove plaque and food particles.
Oral Cancer Exam
According to the American Cancer Society, over 30,000 cases of oral cancer are diagnosed each year, with over 7000 of these cases resulting in the death of the patient. Fortunately, oral cancer can be diagnosed with an annual Velscope cancer exam provided by Drs. Chacker, Georgiadis and Lee. If caught early, oral cancer can be effectively treated.
Periodontal disease is a serious infection under your gumline. ARESTIN (minocycline hydrochloride) is an antibiotic that kills the bacteria that cause the infection.
- It’s placed directly in the infected areas or “pockets”in your gums.
- It’s applied right after scaling and root planing, the dental procedure that disrupts stubborn plaque and bacteria below your gum line where brushing and flossing can’t reach.