By Dr. Joel
Controlling the plaque that causes most dental
disease is simple but not necessarily easy. Developing good
oral habits is simple but it is changing lifestyle and that
is not easy either. For most of us, achieving excellent oral
health requires effective brushing and flossing, period. How
simple is that?
To begin, we all use a toothbrush to remove bacteria from
the teeth. Because we brush the tooth and gum we want to use
a brush that is soft enough that it will not wear out the
tooth or cause gum damage. Soft bristle brushes would be the
texture to choose in all cases. (Unless you brush the
chewing surface only with a stiffer one.) I think electric
toothbrushes offer some benefit that manual brushes don?
deliver. Electric brushes do a lot of the work which is good
for those of us who are less coordinated or incapacitated.
They also measure the time spent brushing so that if you are
interested in providing yourself a 2 minute cleaning you can
be sure of getting it done.
Forty percent of the exposed tooth is inaccessible to the
toothbrush and must be cleaned using floss. The second most
frequent area where decay attacks the tooth is at the
contact area where teeth meet. (Most frequent?n the chewing
surface pit and fissure defects) Because floss is difficult
to manipulate, effective cleaning is difficult. There is a
learning curve to floss manipulation and there is a tendency
to drop it out. I sometimes suggest that people who have a
problem getting started or keeping it up; choose a few teeth
in one easily reached area to begin their regimen. If they
practice flossing this little area for four to six weeks,
the habit becomes established and expanding to additional
teeth is easier to achieve.
For specific recommendations, I personally like the Sonicare
electric toothbrush. My wife and hygienist use the Braun
Oral B toothbrush. We all like Glide floss for its strength
and slight wax like ability to get through tight contact
areas. Glide also comes in a thicker width called Tape. For
those who want a little assistance with floss, it comes
mounted on a plastic handle and can be found in the dental
section of the pharmacy.
Special cleaning devices are also available and can often be
found in the dental section of the pharmacy. These include a
rubber tip, proxabrush, floss threaders, and others that
might be recommended by dental professionals. All of these
items will assist in the removal of plaque on teeth, the
source of most dental disease.
Additional dental articles by Dr. Sendroff:
How can I prevent dental disease?
What is the best diet for
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Copyright ? 2006 Joel Sendroff, DDS PC - Providing information on dental procedures including Whitening, Porcelain Veneers and Crowns in the Greater Washington, DC area.
Disclaimer: Dr. Joel Sendroff services patients in Washington, DC (District of Columbia), Chevy Chase, Maryland and Northern Virginia. This site only provides information about dental and cosmetic dental procedures including Whitening, Porcelain Veneers, Crowns, White Fillings, Bonding, Crowns and Veneers, and Dental Implants. It is not meant to be taken as advice.